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Home / World / Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Russian diplomats leave North Korea with a push-type railcar

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Russian diplomats leave North Korea with a push-type railcar



As part of the Kim Jong Un regime’s efforts to block Covid-19, North Korea’s borders have actually been blocked for several months, which puts the few diplomats operating in Pyongyang into trouble. North Korea’s state-owned airline, Air Koryo, operates flights from Vladivostok (Vladivostok) in eastern Russia, but these flights have also been suspended for several months.

The Russian Embassy stated on its verified Facebook page that the maze tour is the only way for Russian diplomats and their families to leave the country.

The journey starts from the train. The Russians spent 32 hours traveling on North Korea’s ancient, poorly maintained and notorious slow railway system. Then they took a bus to the border for two hours, where family members needed to order rail trolleys to transport their luggage and then push them to the other side.

A trolley, also called a trolley, is a popular tram in the 1800s, driven by its passengers through a joystick using a pump, or manually pushed by people from behind.

The embassy posted two photos of third-class secretary Vladislav Sorokin, wearing thick winter clothes pushing his family and their luggage along the railroad tracks. The youngest on the crew is Sorokin’s 3-year-old daughter Varya.

Sorokin had to push the trolley for one kilometer (0.6 miles), part of which included a bridge across the Tumen River that separated Russia from North Korea.

After the family arrived at Hassan Station in Russia, colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs met with them, and they helped them reach the airport in Vladivostok.

Vladisov Sorokin had to push the trolley about 1 kilometer.

Further isolation

The departure of the Sorokin family and other Russian diplomats means that Pyongyang’s already small community of expats (a valuable resource of information about one of the most secluded and secretive countries in the world) is shrinking further.

Diplomats, aid workers and NGO workers chose to leave North Korea instead of getting into trouble because of the country’s lack of flexible and strict border controls. The Russian ambassador to North Korea, Alexander Matsegora, said that foreigners who chose to stay in North Korea described the increasingly severe situation in Pyongyang, with food shortages in grocery stores and unemployment.

North Korea has decided to cut off almost all contact with the outside world in 2020 to prevent the influx of coronavirus cases. Experts believe that Kim Jong Il made this decision because he realized that the outbreak will overwhelm the country’s dilapidated medical system.

Matsegora said that since the devastating typhoon hit the Korean peninsula in September, imports to North Korea have been almost completely stopped. In an interview with Russian news agency Interfax, he said: “The North Korean leader publicly admitted that there is no mature medical infrastructure here that can meet modern requirements and can solve this problem.”

From a public health perspective, King’s strategy seems to be effective. North Korea has not yet reported a major Covid-19 outbreak, and although experts doubt Pyongyang’s claim that the country has not seen a single case of the virus, there is no indication that it has occurred.

shortage of food

The decision to end almost all trade with Beijing is the economic lifeblood of this poor country that needs to save its people from starvation. This has brought North Korea’s economy closer to the brink of collapse than it has been in decades.

Matsegora said: “In Pyongyang, life is not easy for us.” “After months of self-isolation, the available inventory on the shelf has been reduced to a minimum. Even if you buy basic goods such as pasta, flour, vegetable oil and sugar. , There are no decent clothes or footwear, which is a challenge. If you can buy something, it usually costs three to four times higher than before the crisis.”

Matsegora’s comments are surprising because North Korea’s relationship with Russia is closer than with almost every other country outside of China. Although Kim Jong Il and other North Korean leaders admitted that the country’s economy was suffering from the virus, they did not admit that the country’s food supply was tight.

According to the World Food Program (WFP), there are approximately 10.3 million people in North Korea-more than 40% of the population. The World Food Program stated that last year’s operations in North Korea were “intermittently” due to border closures, and warned that this year’s operations may be at risk.

Li Kun, a spokesman for the World Food Program, said that the organization “has not stopped its operations in North Korea,” but many industries face challenges during the pandemic.

“Our work has never stopped. Although we have encountered challenges in providing food aid and supplies due to the Covid-19 containment measures, by 2020, we will bring a limited amount of food; including vulnerable women and children More than 500,000 people within the country benefited and nutritional assistance.” Li said in the statement. “Our work will continue through our national staff in Pyongyang and their temporary international staff.”

CNN’s Jake Kwon and Ivan Watson contributed to this report.


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