Aug. 8 (UPI) -- North Korea's national carrier has launched more flights from Pyongyang to the northeastern city of Shenyang.
A source on China-North Korea affairs who spoke to Yonhap news agency on the condition of anonymity said the Air Koryo route expansion is "temporary" and flights take place three times a week.
The route is being reported at a time when relations between Beijing and Pyongyang have rapidly improved following summits and North Korea's suspension of nuclear and missile tests.
North Korea's economic recovery heavily depends on Chinese cooperation.
Earlier in June, China may have agreed to open international routes to Pyongyang, connecting the city to Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai and Chengdu.
Air Koryo previously flew twice a week, from Pyongyang to Shenyang. The additional flight takes place Monday.
The decision reflects a North Korean strategy to increase foreign currency earnings by drawing in Chinese tourists, a source of revenue that does not violate international sanctions.
North Korea drew Chinese tourists in June and July with special war anniversary packages that included a tour of the North Korean side of Panmunjom, according to Yonhap.
In South Korea, speculation is rising Hyundai Asan, the firm that organized South Korean tours to Mount Kumgang, will resume operations.
But the U.S. State Department has said sanctions are to remain in "full effect" until North Korea fully denuclearizes, Voice of America reported this week.
Hyundai Group chairwoman Hyun Jung-eun has said she expects the tours to resume in 2018.