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Beijing has granted approval for North Korea's state-owned airline, Air Koryo, to recommence flights to China, marking the resumption of services that were suspended for

over three years due to COVID-19 restrictions, as confirmed by the Chinese foreign ministry on Monday.

This decision coincides with indications of heightened interactions between North Korea and its neighboring country, which also happens to be its largest trading partner.

According to a report by South Korea's Yonhap news agency on Thursday, train services between the two nations have been on the rise.

In the past month, a delegation from China visited Pyongyang to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the conclusion of the Korean War. This marked the first instance of a group traveling to the reclusive state since the onset of the pandemic.

China's foreign ministry has not specified the exact date for the resumption of flights and has redirected further inquiries to China's aviation regulatory authority, which was not immediately available for comment.

When contacted, an Air Koryo employee from the airline's Shanghai office stated that he was unaware of the current situation.

Flights connecting the two countries were suspended in early 2020 as both nations closed their borders in response to the pandemic. Prior to the suspension, the route was served by both Air Koryo and the Chinese state airline, Air China.

"In the past, there used to be a single daily flight alternating between Air China and Air Koryo," noted Li Hanming, a Chinese aviation analyst. Photo by Yaoleilei, Wikimedia commons.