North Korea held its first-ever air show showcasing its civilian and aerial might in a bid to attract tourists to the isolated country. The two-day event that took off at the Kalma International Airport on Saturday, 24 September in the eastern port city of Wonsan, featured the country's military planes, helicopters and civilian aircraft.
At least 200 aviation enthusiasts travelled to the country to witness the show. Several North Koreans are also attending.
Among the key attractions were miniature models of the US Air Force's F-16 and China's J-10 fighters. The airport, previously a military airbase, was recently renovated in order to boost the tourism industry. The facility is meant to serve as a gateway to the Mount Kumgang tourist zone.
Pyongyang's only airline and the national flag carrier, Air Koryo, which has ageing jets such as Soviet-made Antonov, Tupolev (Tu) and Ilyushin (Il) were also on display. MiGs and Su fighter jets lit up the North Korean skies on the second day of the festival.
"This plane is faster than other airplanes and can manoeuvre quickly, so there is little time to think, you must make fast decisions," Rim Sol, a MiG-21 pilot, was quoted as saying.
The show took place amid high tensions in the Korean peninsula especially when the North is furious about the flight of US B-1B Lancers. The USAF flew a pair of the sophisticated supersonic jets in a show of force against North Korea's recent nuclear and rocket engine tests.