Amid calls from the United States and other Western nations to financially isolate North Korea as part an effort to dissuade their Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un, from pursuing nuclear weapons and a reliable missile platform to deliver them, Russia has just opened a new weekly transport vessel intended to ferry people back and forth between Russia and North Korea.

The ship will make weekly trips between the two nations, docking in Vladivostok and the North Korean port of Rajin.

The operators of the Russian ferry refer to the venture as “purely commercial” but the decision to allow it to start operations is being seen by many as a political olive branch, as North Korea hopes to warm relations with the Kremlin in the face of a slightly souring relationship with China.  According to the company operating the ferry, the primary demographic their service will cater to is Chinese citizens wanting to travel to the Russian Pacific port from within North Korea.

“It’s our business, of our company, without any state subsidies, involvement and help,” Mikhail Khmel, the deputy director of Investstroytrest, the Russia firm operating the ferry, told reporters.

“These are Russian citizens, who are returning from North Korea, and tourists from China,” he added.

While Chinese citizens do frequently travel to and from the reclusive state, it seems unlikely that this new ferry will cater specifically to Chinese citizens with an interest in traveling to Russia by way of North Korea, though it is important to note that China has no ports on the Sea of Japan, making travel through North Korea to Vladivostok the quickest route by sea.

Despite that, North Korea’s state-owned news agency, KCNA, seems to think the new ferry has much more to do with Russia-North Korean relations than Chinese tourism.

“Rajin-Vladivostok international tourist liner Man Gyong Bong will be operated by the common efforts of the DPRK and Russia,” reads a report published by KCNA.