North Korea’s Taedonggang beer – named after the river running through its capital Pyongyang – stopped flowing into China last year, along with most other North Korean exports, according to official Chinese customs data. Pyongyang shut the country’s borders in January 2020, soon after the
new coronavirus emerged in China. Travel was banned and trade by road, rail and sea almost entirely suspended. Between 50,000 and 70,000 North Korean waitresses and factory workers were left stranded on the Chinese side of the border, according to estimates by South Korean research institutes.