North Korea is taking part in a trade show organized by the Chinese government, but its exhibits only include photographs of its product offerings, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Besides North Korea, companies from Japan and South Korea are participating in the China-Northeast Asia Expo. China's Ministry of Commerce and others organized the event. The trade show is held every other year in Changchun, which is located in the northeastern Chinese province of Jilin.
At the opening ceremony on Thursday, a message by the North Korean Minister of External Economic Affairs was read out.
Yun Jong Ho said the expo helps strengthen economic cooperation among the countries in the region.
He said the event is all the more significant because it is being held while countries around the world are exploring ways to help their economies recover, as they keep the pandemic in check.
At the North Korean booth, only photo panels of products, such as Korean chili pepper paste and ginseng liquor, were on display.
A booth attendant told NHK that the pandemic prevented participants from the North from bringing real products. The attendant added that only photos and videos of items are being shown.
North Korea has closed its international borders and restricted trade across those borders, due to the pandemic.
The total amount of trade between North Korea and China in August was about 12 percent of the total reported during the same month in 2019. That was before the pandemic started.