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N. Korea appears to have resumed regular flights to Beijing

Nov. 2, 2023 - 10:50 By Yonhap
An Air Koryo plane is seen at Beijing Capital International Airport on Aug. 24. (Yonhap)

North Korea's national carrier appears to have resumed regular flights connecting Pyongyang and Beijing, a website showed Thursday, as the reclusive regime reopened its border following more than three years of border lockdown.

The move comes after an Air Koryo flight landed in Beijing on Aug. 22, the first resumption of commercial flights since the North closed its border in January 2020 to fend off COVID-19.

The Beijing Capital International Airport's website showed that a flight departing from Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang was scheduled to arrive in Beijing at 12:30 p.m. and return to the North Korean capital at 3:05 p.m.

Another Air Koryo flight traveled between Pyongyang and Beijing on Tuesday.

The North Korean national carrier had operated routes connecting Pyongyang and Beijing every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday before flights were suspended due to the yearslong border closure.

Radio Free Asia, a Washington-based media outlet, said Air Koryo operated the flights on Oct. 24, 26 and 28, lending support to the view that the regular flights have fully returned to pre-COVID levels.

Air Koryo has also resumed its pre-COVID flight schedules to Vladivostok, operating flights to the far eastern Russian city every Monday and Friday since Oct. 16.

Following the rare summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sept. 13, Russian officials said regular flight resumption was among the topics discussed during the talks. (Yonhap)