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N. Korean airline increases flights to Russia ahead of deadline for repatriation of workers

North Korea's national carrier has increased flights on a route between Pyongyang and Vladivostok as the deadline for the repatriation of North Korean workers draws near, sources said Monday.

Air Koryo increased the number of weekly flights connecting the two cities to five from the previous two this week, according to Vladivostok International Airport. The change is set to last until Dec. 20.


 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un cuts a ribbon during a ceremony for the completion of the Yangdok County Hot Spring Cultural Recreation Center in North Korea in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on Dec. 7. (KCNA)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un cuts a ribbon during a ceremony for the completion of the Yangdok County Hot Spring Cultural Recreation Center in North Korea in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on Dec. 7. (KCNA)


The increase apparently reflected the upcoming deadline for the repatriation of North Korean workers under a United Nations resolution, pundits said.

In response to the North's launch of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in November 2017, the U.N. adopted a resolution ordering its members to repatriate North Korean workers back to Pyongyang by Dec. 22 this year.

The airport's flight schedule shows that there will only be one flight a week connecting the two cities after the deadline.

Air Koryo is the only airline that operates flights connecting Pyongyang and Vladivostok.

"We can assume (that North Korea increased the flights to relocate the workers), but we cannot know the details behind the decision," a source with knowledge of the matter said. (Yonhap)

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