Isolation Escalates As Chinese Airline Ends Flights To North Korea
21 November, 2017
It's barely been a day since President Donald Trump revealed that the US would once again label North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism and impose broad new sanctions against its government and senior officials, and already more bad news for the restive communist state has emerged. This time, the Associated Press is reporting that Air China, a state owned airline, is canceling flights to North Korea, leaving the North's troubled Air Koryo as the only airline operating flights between North Korea and its primary economic benefactor.
Airlines have steadily reduced the frequency of flights to North Korea as mounting political tensions depressed the already small number of business travelers and tourists visiting the North.
Air China Ltd. announced in April it was cutting the frequency of flights to North Korea due to lack of demand. Some other Chinese carriers offered charter services to the North but those also have been canceled.
Zhang said the last Air China flight to Pyongyang was Monday and he didn’t know when service might resume.
The status of Air Koryo’s flights was unclear. Phone calls to the carrier’s Beijing office weren’t answered. The flight information website for the Beijing airport showed its Pyongyang flight on Tuesday took off as scheduled.
Lu, the foreign ministry spokesman, appealed for measures to ease the tense standoff.
“Given the highly complex and sensitive situation on the peninsula, we hope all relevant parties can do something conducive to alleviating the tension and pulling all sides concerned back to the track of negotiation and dialogue to settle the peninsular nuclear issue,” he said at a regular news briefing.
“North Korea has supported acts of international terrorism, including assassinations on foreign soil,” Trump said.
“As we take this action today we think of Otto Warmbier and the many others affected by north korean opporession."