7 MAY 2018
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North Korea's overtures for peace with its neighbour and normalisation of relations with the rest of the world are already impinging on aviation with directors from the UN International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) due to visit Pyongyang this week.
ICAO Asia and Pacific regional director Arun Mishra and air navigation bureau director Stephen Creamer will conduct a “joint mission” to consider North Korea’s request to establish air services to Seoul.
The agency said the initial request was sent to ICAO’s Asia and Pacific regional office by the General Administration of Civil Aviation of North Korea in February, and was supported by the authorities of South Korea.
There are currently no direct air services between North and South Korea, although both countries support national carriers – Air Koryo in the case of the North and Korean Air Lines in the case of the South.
Charter flights between Seoul and Pyongyang in the mid-2000s were stopped owing to the strained relations between the two countries but the atmosphere has improved since the beginning of this year.
North and South have engaged in direct negotiations and the two leaders held a landmark summit on 27 April, agreeing to work to end the Korean War, which has never officially been resolved.
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