North Korea has canceled this year's Wonsan Air Show, travel agents said Monday, with reports suggesting tightened travel restrictions by several countries due to nuclear tensions with Pyongyang could be behind the move.
The first-ever Wonsan International Friendship Air Festival was held in September last year, attracting hundreds of foreigners as North Korea showcased a lineup of civilian and military aircraft.
The event had been planned to take place every two years, but North Korea said in March the first was so successful that it was bringing forward the second edition.
But the gathering, scheduled for late September, was canceled by the North Korean Preparatory Committee due to "current geopolitical circumstances," specialist website NK News reported, citing an e-mail from the organizers.
It did not give specific reasons but cited "uncertainty" and "recently upgraded travel warnings" regarding trips to North Korea, the report said.
A US travel ban issued following the June death of US student Otto Warmbier, who was released in a coma after being held by Pyongyang for more than a year, came into effect on Friday.
Japan's public broadcaster NHK cited diplomatic sources as saying the reason for the cancelation was unclear. It said there was speculation it could be part of North Korea's efforts to save fuel in the face of increasingly tough United Nations Security Council sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Last month Pyongyang tested two ballistic missiles that appeared to bring much of the US mainland into range.
Oil is not currently subject to sanctions but fuel prices jumped in Pyongyang earlier this year, prompting suggestions that the rise was driven by a fear of restrictions being imposed.