Air China Airline to Cease Flights to North Korea From Apr. 17 Amid Tensions
The Chinese airline company Air China will suspend flights to Pyongyang starting April 17 amid the escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, local media reported Friday.BEIJING (Sputnik) — Air China was the only international airline company that was operating flights to North Korea, the CCTV broadcaster reported.
However the air traffic between the countries will continue as the North Korean state airline Air Koryo operates regular flights to the Chinese cities of Beijing and Shenyang and a charter flight to Shanghai.
In March, Air Koryo also launched the first regular flight between Pyongyang and the Chinese city of Dandong, located near the border with North Korea.
Since the beginning of 2016, North Korea carried out a number of missile launches and nuclear tests, prompting worldwide criticism, including from Beijing. As a result, the UN Security Council tightened the sanctions regime for North Korea in an attempt to force Pyongyang to stop ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests, including imposing a measure intended to effect the country’s trade, export of natural resources, arms trade and banking sectors.
US officials announced on Saturday that an aircraft carrier strike group was sent to the Korean peninsula amid rising tensions. Last year’s joint US-South Korean drills practiced taking out North Korea’s leadership, military facilities and intercepting incoming North Korean planes in the event of war on the Korean peninsula.