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DANDONG, China—One evening last week in this Chinese border city, restaurants bustled and taxis honked. Tall buildings were clad in LED displays. Just beyond the din, an empty one-lane bridge extended across the Yalu river, to a darkened North Korean city on the other side.
This narrow border bridge is North Korea's lifeline to the outside world, carrying what economists estimate is some 70% of the country's trade volume. Earlier in the day, roughly 100 trucks and four trains traveled across