U.S. Exempts Flight to N.Korea from Sanctions

  • By Kim Jin-myung

    February 01, 2018 12:37

    The U.S. has granted South Korea an exemption from sanctions against North Korea for a chartered Asiana flight carrying junior skiers to joint training at the Masikryong Ski Resort in the North.

    That means the flag carrier will be spared a U.S. ban that normally applies to any ships or aircraft that have visited North Korea, a Foreign Ministry official here said on Wednesday.

    A plane carrying a group of South Korean skiers takes off at an airport in Yangyang, Gangwon Province on Wednesday.

    "In principle, the plane would be prohibited from flying to the U.S. for next 180 days, but I don't think there'll be a problem," the official added.

    Washington was not happy but at the last moment granted Seoul's request.

    "We had to jump through a lot of hoops to get the exemption," the official said. "That's why our talks with Washington dragged on until the morning" of Tuesday, when the skiers had already gone to airport.

    The government was particularly nervous that all Asiana aircraft could be put on the U.S. blacklist.

    "Washington is determined to enforce sanctions against the North and also has a highly negative view of Masikryong Ski Resort," a diplomatic source said. "This may not be the end of the story."

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