According to local tourism agencies, a passenger plane of Air Koryo, the North’s flag carrier, landed in the airport in Dalian on Thursday and returned to Pyongyang with nearly 70 people on board.
This marked the first North Korean airplane that had flown between the two cities since November 2006. There will be such flights every Thursday and Sunday.
|A North Korean rides a bike by the Tower of Juche Idea in Pyongyang, North Korea, Saturday. (Yonhap)|
The resumption of the Pyongyang-Dalian flights may reflect improving bilateral ties between North Korea and China after yearslong chilled relations over the North’s nuclear and missile provocations.
Chinese President Xi Jinping recently sent Li Zhanshu, Beijing’s third-ranked official, as his special envoy to Pyongyang on the occasion of the North’s 70th founding anniversary.
Li was seated next to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during a military parade staged this past Sunday, and the North also hosted an art performance and banquet exclusively for Li and his delegation in an apparent bid to emphasize friendly ties between the two countries. (Yonhap)