North Korea’s ‘Commercial’ Airline Needs to Be Banned

North Korean workers labor next to Air Koryo jets lined up on the tarmac of the airport near Pyongyang, North Korea / AP

There is a tendency for western media to treat Air Koryo, North Korea’s only “commercial” airline, as an opportunity for humor. The fact that it has been named the world’s worst airline by an industry group for four straight years plays a role in the company’s attractiveness as a butt for jokes, as do the propaganda films that play on its small fleet of Tupolev and Antonov jets (there is no volume control) and the mystery meat burgers served by its flight attendants.

But Air Koryo is no joke. It is an arm of the Kim family’s military-gangster complex, implicated in smuggling cash for Pyongyang’s slave labor enterprises, and has been implicated in weapons trafficking.

North Korea Says It Has Resumed Plutonium Production

North Korean underwater test-fire of strategic submarine ballistic missile

North Korea says it has resumed plutonium production by reprocessing spent fuel rods and has no plans to stop nuclear tests as long as perceived U.S. threats remain, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported on Wednesday.