by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Nov 22, 2017
Air China has suspended flights to North Korea, further limiting the secretive state's links with the outside world, in what the government said was a business decision with no political motives.
The suspension comes shortly after US President Donald Trump visited Beijing and pressed his counterpart Xi Jinping to do more to rein in North Korea's nuclear program.
China sent a special envoy, Song Tao, to the North last week but his four-day trip ended with no direct statement on the crisis, after Pyongyang's series of nuclear and missile tests triggered global alarm.
Air China said in a statement to AFP that it cancelled the Beijing to Pyongyang flight route because the "operational situation is not ideal".
"Market conditions will determine the resumption of the flight route," the statement said.
Air China last cancelled flights to North Korea in April, citing low customer demand, but resumed them soon after.
China has denied any political motives behind its flag carrier's suspension of the route.
"The airliners just work out their own operation plans based on the state of operation and the market," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a press briefing on Tuesday when asked about the apparent move.
Passengers flying from Beijing to North Korea are now left with just three regularly scheduled flights each week, on the North Korean state airline Air Koryo.
Air Koryo also operates flights from the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang to Pyongyang, though it halted flights from the Chinese border city of Dandong earlier this year.
Beijing is Pyongyang's only major ally and biggest trade partner, though in August China said it would abide by new UN sanctions which heavily curtail the North's exports of its most profitable goods.
The US on Tuesday unveiled new sanctions targeting North Korean shipping and Chinese traders doing business with Pyongyang, again raising the pressure on the pariah state to abandon its nuclear program.
Washington (AFP) Nov 22, 2017
The United States on Tuesday unveiled new sanctions targeting North Korean shipping and Chinese traders doing business with Pyongyang, again raising the pressure on the pariah state to abandon its nuclear program. The measures came a day after President Donald Trump declared North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, a spot on a US blacklist Pyongyang had shed nearly a decade ago. "These ... read more
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
Learn about missile defense at SpaceWar.com
All about missiles at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|