A group of eight Russian diplomats and their families made an unusual exit out of North Korea across the border by initially traveling by train and bus before pushing themselves across the Russian border for about 0.6 miles (1km) over train tracks. North Korea has blocked most passenger transport to limit the virus spread, as the country maintains it has not had any confirmed cases although observers dispute this claim.
Since last year, trains and wagons have been forbidden to enter or leave the country. Most International passenger flights have stopped as well.
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted on Facebook “ Since the borders have been closed for more than a year and passenger traffic has been stopped, it took a long and difficult journey to get home”. Photos shared by the ministry reveals the diplomats on the trolley with their suitcases amid a wintry landscape. They were seen cheering in a video as they crossed to Russia.
The main “engine” was the embassy’s third secretary Vladislav Sorokin, who pushed the trolley across a rail bridge over the Tumen River into Russia, The group included Mr. Sorokin’s three-year-old daughter Varya, who had travelled 32 hours by train and two hours by bus from Pyongyang to reach the Russian border. Pyongyang’s strict anti-Covid measures have affected travel movements and access to amenities, as extra troops have been sent to border areas with orders to block any possible transmission of the virus.
Many foreign diplomats have left the country by overland and crossed the border into China although there was one flight in March last year to Vladivostok carrying diplomats from Germany, Russia, France, Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Mongolia, and Egypt.