Planespotting in the DPRK

Just a decade ago, a trip to North Korea to photograph aircraft would have been a surefire way of sparking a diplomatic crisis. However, a thawing of international tensions meant Keith Otto was able to cross the demilitarized zone and step aboard some of Air Koryo’s Soviet-built relics

Air Koryo Tupolev Tu-154B, P-552 (c/n 76A-143), departing its Pyongyang/ Sunan base
One of Air Koryo's two Tupolev Tu-204s on turnaround
ALL IMAGES KEITH OTTO

Having long held an interest in life – and aircraft – on the opposite side of Iron Curtains, I’d come across several articles concerning planespotting trips to North Korea – a unique destination to celebrate my recent retirement, I thought. Inquiries led me to Juche Travel, which had a visit to the country scheduled with places still available.

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