North’s Air Koryo cancels service to Kuwait City

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North’s Air Koryo cancels service to Kuwait City


North Korea’s flag carrier has canceled a route to Kuwait, according to Airline Route blog, in what could be Pyongyang’s latest attempt to prevent news of popular uprisings in the Arab world from reaching the country.

The move came less than six months after Air Koryo started a weekly direct flight service between Pyongyang and Kuwait City, Airline Route said Monday on its Web site, citing the carrier’s planned winter operation.

In late May, Air Koryo announced the service on its Facebook page, adding that a large number of North Koreans work in the Middle East.

Air Koryo has not yet commented on the reported cancellation of the service on its Facebook page, which was last updated in late October.

The reported cancellation came after North Korea banned about 200 of its citizens in Libya from returning home in an apparent move to keep news of the Arab Spring revolutions from seeping into the North.

The Arab uprisings have toppled longtime autocratic leaders in Tunisia and Egypt and resulted in the death of Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi.

North Korea, which maintained close ties with Qaddafi’s regime, has so far remained silent on his death.

The cancellation “appears to be aimed at blocking the trend of the Jasmine Revolution from being spread in North Korea,” said Kim Yong-hyun, a North Korea expert at Seoul’s Dongguk University, referring to the popular uprisings.

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