First tourist charter flight linking N. Korea & China's Zhengzhou launched

Update:21 Apr 2015

 North Korea and the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou have launched a tourist charter flight service this week, a report said Tuesday, making Zhengzhou the sixth Chinese city linked to the North via charter flights.

The report is another sign that North Korea has approved more cross-border tours for Chinese nationals after lifting travel restrictions it imposed in March due to concerns over the Ebola virus.

The charter flight service between Zhengzhou, the capital of China's central Henan province, and Pyongyang began on late Sunday with about 140 tourists on board the first flight, the website of the People's Daily, the mouthpiece of China's ruling Communist Party, reported.

"It is the sixth province in China that has opened such flights to North Korea," the report said.

The new flight service for mainland Chinese will fly tourists back to Zhengzhou after a five-day trip to North Korea, the report said, citing Chinese tour agents.

It takes two hours and 20 minutes from Zhengzhou to Pyongyang.

The tour group is scheduled to visit the truce village of Panmunjom, which sits in the middle of the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas, as well as subway stations in Pyongyang.

Last October, North Korea banned foreign tourists and imposed a 21-day quarantine on all people, including diplomats, entering the country.

Previously, North Korea operated tourist charter flights from Shanghai and Yanji of Jilin province during peak tour seasons.

North Korea is one of the world's most secretive and isolated nations, but Pyongyang has stepped up efforts to attract foreign tourists since earlier last year by offering more international and domestic flights.

SOURCE: english.yonhapnews.co.kr

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