North Korean delegation arrives in South Korea for Olympics prep

A bus carrying a North Korean delegation crosses the Unification Bridge as a South Korean policeman stands guard in Paju, South Korea, on Sunday. (AP)
Updated 21 January 2018
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North Korean delegation arrives in South Korea for Olympics prep

SEOUL: North Korean logistics officials arrived in South Korea on Sunday after a previous cancelation briefly cast doubts on the North’s participation in next month’s Winter Olympics.
South Korean broadcaster YTN reported the delegation had arrived in Seoul early Sunday under a heavy police presence, then boarded a train to Pyeongchang, where the Olympics will be held from February 9-25.
The seven-member North Korean delegation had originally been scheduled to visit on Saturday to check venues for performances by an art troupe during the Olympics, but canceled just before the visit with no explanation.
Officials from both Korea’s used a cross-border hotline to reschedule the visit.
The preparations are part of the North’s participation in the games, an apparent diplomatic breakthrough after months of high tension over the North’s nuclear and missile program.
North Korea will send 22 athletes to the Winter Games in the neighboring South next month and compete in three sports and five disciplines, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Saturday.


Pakistan reopens airspace to civil aviation after India standoff

Updated 16 July 2019
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Pakistan reopens airspace to civil aviation after India standoff

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan opened its airspace to civil aviation on Tuesday, following months of restrictions imposed in the wake of a standoff with neighboring India.
“With immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of civil traffic on published ATS (Air Traffic Service) routes,” according to a so-called Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) published on the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority’s website.
The move by Pakistan, which lies in the middle of a vital aviation corridor, offers a welcome break for international airlines after the airspace restrictions affected hundreds of commercial and cargo flights each day, adding to flight time for passengers and fuel costs for airlines.
India’s ministry of civil aviation said that after the lifting of the NOTAMS, there were no further restrictions on airspace in either country.
“Flights have started using the closed air routes, bringing a significant relief for airlines,” it said.
Pakistan closed its airspace in February after an attack by a Pakistan-based militant group in Indian-controlled Kashmir led to an armed standoff between the two nuclear-armed powers.
Both countries carried out aerial attacks over the other’s territory and warplanes fought a brief dogfight over the skies of the disputed Kashmir region during which an Indian fighter jet was shot down.
Partial operations at Pakistani airports resumed once the immediate crisis passed but restrictions continued to affect many international carriers using Pakistani airspace.
Pakistan’s announcement came hours after United Airlines Holdings Inc. said it was extending the suspension of its flights from the United States to Delhi and Mumbai in India until Oct. 26, citing continued restrictions of Pakistani airspace.