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North Korea interested in buying Russian passenger planes - Russian senior MP

Pyongyang seeks to boost flight safety, deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma Sergei Neverov noted
Russian State Duma Deputy Chairman Sergei Neverov Valery Sharifulin/TASS
Russian State Duma Deputy Chairman Sergei Neverov
© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

PYONGYANG, April 14. /TASS/. North Korea is interested in buying new Russian civil aircraft to boost flight safety, Sergei Neverov, a deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, who leads a Russian parliamentary delegation visiting Pyongyang, told TASS on Sunday.

"At a meeting at the North Korean foreign ministry, we touched upon the issue of civil aviation and flight safety. The North Korean side expressed interest in buying new Russian planes," he said. "We maintain air service between Pyongyang and Vladivostok and, naturally, we would like to see more advanced and safer planes serving this route."

According to the senior Russian lawmaker, it would be in the interests both of Russian passengers and "citizens of any country flying to Pyongyang, including from Beijing, as these flights are also operated by North Korean air companies."

"We believe that such dialogue must be maintain as civil aviation is beyond the United Nations Security Council’s claims to Pyongyang," he added.

North Korea’s Air Koryo airlines traditionally uses Russian aircraft for passenger flights. Russian Li-18 and Tu-154 planes are operated inside the country and more comfortable Tu-204 planes are used to perform international flights. The company performs flights from Pyongyang to Russia’s Vladivostok, China’s Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang. Talks are underway on possible charter flights to Hanoi and Ulan Ude.

The Russian delegation arrived in Pyongyang at an official invitation to mark 70th anniversary of economic and cultural cooperation agreement signed by the Soviet Union and North Korea.