Saturday, 19 June, 2021


Russian diplomats leave North Korea on hand-pushed rail trolley

Russian Diplomats Push Their Way Out Of North Korea Diplomats Take 34 Hours— and a Push—to Leave N. Korea
Melba Vasquez | 27 February, 2021, 05:58

Many countries have struggled to repatriate their citizens as well as their diplomats during the pandemic, as global air travel shut down and countries closed their borders.

The Embassy posted pictures of third secretary Vladislav Sorokin pushing his family and luggage along the rail tracks, while wearing thick clothing against the cold.

Russian diplomats working in the Pyongyang embassy had to use a handcar as they returned home from North Korea with their family members.

"Since the borders have been closed for more than a year and passenger traffic has been stopped, it took a long and hard journey to get home", Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday night.

"The most important part of the route was a pedestrian crossing to the Russian side".

Images and video from the Russian Foreign Ministry show the embassy employees and their children whooping and waving as they moved the trolley loaded with luggage.

North Korea is expected to receive in the first half of this year almost two million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, produced in India and distributed by the COVAX program, which secures vaccines for poor countries. It was unclear why the diplomats who departed this week stayed in Pyongyang.

An outbreak could be devastating in North Korea, where some local hospitals are so poorly equipped they lack even running water. Ahn Byung-min, a South Korean railway expert, told The Washington Post in 2018 that he had not seen improvements in North Korea's railroads over more than 40 visits since 2000. "I'd say it's got worse", he said.

North Korea has reported to the World Health Organization that it has tested thousands of people for the virus, yet claims not to have a single case.

Earlier this month a group of Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging his administration to conduct an analysis of USA sanctions and reassess those limiting a country's access to coronavirus vaccines and other COVID-19 related resources.

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