Russian envoys leave N. Korea on hand-pushed trolley

Russian envoys leave N. Korea on hand-pushed trolley

A group of Russian diplomats and family members used a hand-pushed rail trolley to leave North Korea this week, amid Pyongyang's strict anti-coronavirus measures, which include blocking most forms of passenger transport across the border.

"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 Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a post on social media.

Most methods of worldwide travel, including plane and train, have been blocked in North Korea due to the coronavirus pandemic. They then put their children and luggage onto a rail trolley and pushed it for more than a kilometre across the border into Russian Federation.

"They had to push the whole structure by rail for more than a kilometer, with the most crucial segment being the bridge across the Tumen River", the ministry said with an accompanying video of the cheering travelers.

Eight Russian Embassy employees and their families made their way home Thursday with the help of a railroad handcar loaded with luggage and children.

The Interfax news agency reported on Friday morning that the group later took a flight to Moscow from the far-eastern city of Vladivostok.

The main "engine" was the embassy's third secretary Vladislav Sorokin, who pushed the trolley across a rail bridge over the Tumen River into Russian Federation, said the ministry. It said the youngest passenger was Sorokin's 3-year-old daughter, Varya.

Once they arrived in the isolated country, they were met by colleagues in the Ministry of Foreign affairs who accompanied them to the airport.

North Korea has strict measures at its border in an attempt to halt the spread of Covid-19.

The Russian diplomats were thus left with little choice.

North Korea told the World Health Organization near the end of 2020 that it had tested about 26,000 samples from more than 13,000 people since the start of the pandemic, in a country of almost 26 million.

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