Chinese state-owned airline Air China has suspended all flights to North Korea, a decision that now almost completely cuts the Hermit Kingdom off from the rest of the world.
The airline has said that the move to stop service to the DPRK is a business decision, not a political one, explaining that there was low customer demand for the flights from Beijing to Pyongyang.
In April, Air China also canceled its flights to North Korea before resuming service to the country in May, though cutting down the frequency of flights to just two a week.
North Korea’s Air Koryo is now the only airline that has regularly scheduled flights to the isolated country. Those flights take off from Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Dandong, and Vladivostok, according to the airline’s website.
Air China’s move comes just after US President Donald Trump made the decision to place North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. However, China Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang also asserted that the decision was not political, adding that he hadn’t even heard anything about it when asked at a Tuesday press conference in Beijing.
To resolve the North Korea nuclear crisis, China has repeatedly called on all sides to come together for talks as the war of words continues to escalate between Trump and Kim Jong-un. Meanwhile, Beijing has also gone along with UN sanctions against the Pyongyang regime, even ordering that all North Korea businesses in China close up shop by January.