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Chinese airline to resume flights to North Korea

June 5, 2018

FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2011, file photo, North Korean officials wait for passengers to board an Air China flight at Pyongyang airport in Pyongyang, North Korea. State-owned Air China will resume flights to North Korea's capital on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, an airline employee said, amid preparations for a possible meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (AP Photo/Greg Baker, File)

BEIJING (AP) — State-owned Air China will resume flights to North Korea’s capital on Wednesday, an airline employee said, amid preparations for a possible meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Air China’s decision in November to suspend flights to Pyongyang, blaming lack of demand, deepened the North’s isolation as U.N. sanctions aimed at ending its nuclear and missile programs were tightened.

“The flights from Beijing to Pyongyang will be resumed due to market reasons,” said the employee of the airline’s press office, who would give only his surname, Zhang. He gave no other details.

The Air China website showed flights available on Wednesday, Friday and the following Monday.

Diplomats are preparing for a possible June 12 meeting between Trump and Kim in Singapore.

China was long North Korea’s diplomatic protector but has supported the latest rounds of U.N. sanctions. Beijing has cut off imports of North Korean seafood, minerals, textiles and other products and imposed an annual cap on oil sales to the isolated nation.

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