Air Koryo is currently banned from the European Union with the cited reason being safety.

Yet Air Koryo had its last accident with fatalities in 1983 thus being one of the safeties air companies in the world.

Formerly the EU cited the outdated aircraft as the reason but after they bought two new Russian Tu-204's, the EU still refused to lift the ban.

Is there anything more than safety to it? Is it because of ideology?

I also found a reference to the assessment by Skytrax where the company was rated 1 star, the only such company in the world. The main reasons cited were the newspapers with state propaganda and state music as well as "non-edible" food.

Yet to me the food visually does not differ, or is even better than, what I received on board of Transaero (is not the food prepared by the airport anyway?).

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    Perhaps because it's hard to assess safety record in a North Korean society where press is 100% controlled and there could have been crashes that aren't made publically known? It's frequently not necessarily about being proven unsafe, as about lack of being sufficiently proven safe. – user4012 Feb 22 '13 at 20:08
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    @DVK I am highly skeptical about possibility of hiding a flight accident in modern world especially given that most flights are international. The last non-fatal accident they had in 2006 when a plane exited runway. It is well known what panes they operate and if they lost any hull in an accident it would also be known, because the hulls are internationally registered. – Anixx Feb 22 '13 at 20:18
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    I am not saying they are hiding an accident. I'm saying that a bureaucrat making the rules in EU isn't going to say "yes" unless he can cover his a$$ and look at 100% of possible information and prove that he looked. And NK won't let him look thoroughly enough, so he's not going to take a risk of approving, and if something happens being considered at fault for not being more thorough. – user4012 Feb 22 '13 at 21:06
  • IOW, never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity :) – user4012 Feb 22 '13 at 21:06
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    Putting this on a Politics site is kind of assuming what the answer is. – DJClayworth Feb 25 '13 at 16:00

As of 2010, the ban is partial and it excludes the two Tu-204's. Air Koryo can operate the two new aircraft (registration marks P-632 and P-633) normally into the European Union.

For the rest of Air Koryo's fleet there are several concerns regarding safety & security, summarized in EC Regulation No 474/2006:

Air Koryo

(10) There is verified evidence of serious safety deficiencies on the part of Air Koryo. These deficiencies have been identified by France and Germany, during ramp inspections performed under the SAFA programme

(11) Persistent failure by Air Koryo to address deficiencies previously communicated by France was identified during other ramp inspections performed under the SAFA programme.

(12) Substantiated and serious incident-related information communicated by France indicates latent systemic safety deficiencies on the part of Air Koryo.

(13) Air Koryo demonstrated a lack of ability to address these safety deficiencies.

(14) Air Koryo did not respond adequately and timely to an enquiry by the civil aviation authority of France regarding the safety aspect of its operation showing a lack of transparency or communication, as demonstrated by the absence of reply to a request by that Member State.

(15) The corrective action plan presented by Air Koryo in response to France’s request was not adequate and sufficient to correct the identified serious safety deficiencies.

(16) The authorities of the Democratic People Republic of Korea with responsibility for regulatory oversight of Air Koryo have not exercised an adequate oversight on this carrier in accordance with their obligations under the Chicago Convention.

(17) Therefore, on the basis of the common criteria, it is assessed that Air Koryo does not meet the relevant safety standards.

Further reading:

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