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 by China’s national flag carrier comes shortly after a visit by a senior Chinese envoy to the city and also coincides with a U.S. decision to put North Korea back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism.
The suspension left North Korea’s Air Koryo as the only airline with regularly scheduled service to the North. Its website lists flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang and Dandong in China and Vladivostok in Russia.
A staff member in the company’s Pyongyang office who declined to give his name, told Reuters that Air China can resume the flights whenever there is enough demand and the office will operate normally even while there are no scheduled flights between Beijing and Pyongyang.