China: Many Chinese dead, hurt in North Korea traffic crash

A large number of Chinese tourists have been killed and injured in a “major traffic accident” in North Korea, China’s foreign ministry said Monday.

The crash occurred Sunday night in North Hwanghae province, south of the capital Pyongyang, the ministry said in a brief statement.

Details on numbers of victims were not immediately given, and Chinese diplomats reached in Pyongyang said they would issue a statement later.

Footage on Chinese state broadcaster CCTV showed the mangled wreckage of a bus in the dark with rain falling. Rescue vehicles were on the scene and injured were shown being treated in hospital.

China and North Korea share a lengthy border and China is North Korea’s largest trading partner, although commerce has dropped off by about 90 percent under United Nations sanctions.

Chinese tourists are among the largest groups of visitors to the isolated, hard-line communist state, often paying homage at sites related to China’s military intervention in the 1950-53 Korean War.

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