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The United States blocked IAKO’s efforts to improve civil aviation in North Korea when Pyongyang is trying to reopen part of its airspace for foreign flights, Reuters reported. 

This US move is part of the talks tactics to maintain sanctions pressure on North Korea, a source said ahead of upcoming summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam, late February.

Washington is seeking concrete commitments from Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and missile programs.

The United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), with 192 member states, is working with Pyongyang to open a new air route that will pass through the airspace of North and South Korea.

Airlines currently use indirect routes to avoid North Korea due to the threat of undeclared rocket launches.

If the space is considered safe, international airlines can save fuel and time on some routes between Asia and Europe and North America, and North Korea can revive its own commercial aviation industry.

ICAO is ready to help improve North Korea’s aviation system, the sources said.

North Korea also asked ICAO for access to U.S.-produced aeronautical charts, they said.

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