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First North Korean air show to open in Wonsan

September 24, 0:00 UTC+3
The program includes demonstration flights of military and civil aircraft and helicopters, exhibition performances of parachute-jumpers of the Pyongyang flying club and aeromodelling competitions
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Sukhoi Su-34 bomber jet

Sukhoi Su-34 bomber jet

© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

WONSAN /DPRK’s eastern coast/, September 24 /TASS/. A grand air show, the first in the  history of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), will get under way in Wonsan, a port on the country’s eastern coast,  on Saturday, a source at the show’s organizing committee told TASS.

The program includes demonstration flights of military and civil aircraft and helicopters; exhibition performances of parachute-jumpers of the Pyongyang flying club and aeromodelling competitions. 

Judging from the program, planes, which North Korea has bought from Russia, including the Ilyushin, Antonov and Tupolev civil aircraft, as well as MiG and Su fighter jets, will dominate the air show. North Korean pilots will demonstrate their aerobatics skills. The spectators will have a chance to fly planes of the North Korean air carrier Air Koryo and jump with a parachute together with an instructor. The air show’s program also includes concerts by various song and dance companies and exhibition performances by athletes, including masters of the ancient Korean martial art called Taekwondo, as well as a beer festival.

Local tourism agencies have promised to organize spectacular fireworks on the coast of the Sea of Japan, which the DPRK calls the “Eastern” sea. 

The main events will take place in the territory of Wonsan’s Kalma airport, the second major airport in North Korea. The construction of a new air hub, which had replaced a former air base, began in July 2014 and cost 130 million US dollars.  A modern airport, which can service more than 2,000 passengers a day, has become Wonsan’s trademark. Wonsan’s streets have been decorated with flowers and bright posters with the words of welcome addressed to the air show’s visitors; numerous foreign tourists; diplomats who work in Pyongyang; employees of foreign humanitarian organizations and foreign journalists. 

Attracting more tourists

The North Korean authorities assume that the new air hub will make it possible to increase tourist flows into the Wonsan-Mt. Kumgang International Tourist Zone, in the southeast of the DPRK, which has an Alpine skiing resort; an international children’s recreation center as well as the famous Mt.Kumgang (the Diamond Mountain) with its ancient Buddhist temples, waterfalls and lakes. The Wonsan-Mt.Kumgang International Tourist Zone has 142 ancient monuments, 7 sea beaches, 9 natural lakes and 4 mineral springs. The local parliament has adopted a law on the economic development of the Wonsan-Mt.Kumgang region, including the creation of additional tourism facilities in the country’s eastern coast.

In recent years, the DPRK government has been actively attracting foreign tourists into the country, which needs them as a source for earning foreign currency necessary for North Korea’s economic development in conditions of rigid sanctions imposed on Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile program. 

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