[00:00.00]Seated under tall windows and wearing simple clothing, North Korean painters are hard at work in China.
[00:10.88]The nine artists are putting canvases on picture frames and copying landscape images from computers.
[00:20.61]One artist listens to an electronic device as he paints a group of running horses onto his canvas.
[00:30.88]The artists, all of them men, have come to the Chinese border town of Dandong from Mansudae Art Studio.
[00:41.41]That art studio is North Korea's largest producer of art.
[00:47.42]Other North Korean artists work in similar businesses along the border.
[00:53.43]"Chinese have begun collecting art, and North Korean art is much easier and cheaper for them to obtain," said Park Young-jeong.
[01:05.73]He is with the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute, a group based in the South Korean capital, Seoul.
[01:15.06]The North Korean government operates Mansudae.
[01:19.35]The art studio creates statutes, wall posters and more.
[01:25.20]United Nations experts say it has built statues and markers in at least 15 African countries.
[01:35.20]The experts reported in February that a part of the business, called Mansudae Overseas Projects, helps the North Korean government raise money.
[01:47.39]A diplomat at the North’s diplomatic office in Geneva said Mansudae had nothing to do with financing for weapons manufacturing.
[01:58.09]The Reuters news agency reported that no one from the arts studio could be reached.
[02:05.89]The U.N. Security Council banned Mansudae's statue business in 2016.
[02:12.43]Two months ago, Council members blacklisted the art studio after the North Korean government carried out weapons tests.
[02:23.18]Diplomats say the U.N. action will prevent the studio from doing business.
[02:29.47]"With this listing, anything Mansudae produces cannot be bought and should be frozen per the asset freeze," said a Security Council diplomat who did not want to be identified.
[02:45.44]What do the Security Council's measures mean for existing Mansudae art?
[02:51.30]In Beijing, a business called the Mansudae Art Gallery claims to be the studio's official overseas gallery.
[03:00.80]Its head said the U.N. sanctions have had no effect on his business.
[03:08.09]The Dandong Center, on the Chinese border, works with Mansudae, said its chief, Gai Longji.
[03:17.70]Asked on the day the sanctions took effect if they would hurt the art studio, he did not answer directly.
[03:26.67]"We don't do politics," he said. "We do art."
[03:31.54]The Reuters news agency spoke to at least 30 art experts and people who have sold North Korean art.
[03:40.68]Many said that the market for such art does not earn much money – especially in comparison to the possible billion dollars North Korea raises each year by selling coal and other minerals.
[03:57.73]In China, the demand for North Korean art has been growing.
[04:03.03]Dandong is a popular attraction for travelers.
[04:07.74]Visitors try North Korean food, watch North Korean women sing and dance, and buy North Korean paintings.
[04:17.64]Koen De Ceuster teaches Korean studies at Leiden University in The Netherlands.
[04:25.68]He said Mansudae is not the only business selling North Korean artwork.
[04:32.60]"There's studios all across the country," he said.
[04:37.95]Other famous studio names include Paekho and the Central Arts Studio.
[04:44.98]Even with the sanctions, the art studios are still able to do business, Dandong traders say.
[04:54.85]Paintings from Mansudae could be sold under the name of an art studio that is yet to be named in U.N. sanctions.
[05:05.68]Two businessmen said paintings have long been accepted instead of money in the region.
[05:13.43]In the Chinese city of Yanjing, antiques dealer Zhao Xiangchen said people usually roll up one or two paintings and carry them across the border to him.
[05:27.64]Since the sanctions were announced, Zhao said, Chinese customs officials have become more watchful.
[05:36.84]"But I'm playing the long game," he said.
[05:40.62]"I still think there's a huge latent demand for North Korean art in the Chinese market, that's only set to grow."
[05:51.88]I'm Lucija Millonig.
[05:54.25]And I'm John Russell.