November 23, 2017 11:18
Chinese flag carrier Air China has indefinitely suspended flights between Beijing and Pyongyang since Monday, AP reported Wednesday.
AP quoted an Air China spokesman as attributing the suspension to "poor demand" and declining to comment when flights could resume. Air China also suspended the route in November last year, which is low season, but resumed them in late March this year, only to suspend them again in April.
Pundits speculate that the latest suspension comes in retaliation against a snub from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who seems to have refused to meet a special envoy from Chinese President Xi Jinping.
They base their speculation on the fact that the route was suspended right after an Air China plane carried the envoy, Song Tao, back from Pyongyang to Beijing. That leaves three weekly Air Koryo flights as the only flight service between Beijing and Pyongyang.
The same day, Chinese experts said Kim insulted China by not meeting Song, according to the South China Morning Post.
Kim's snub seems to have been an expression of anger that Xi welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump in Beijing and agreed to international sanctions against the North.
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