Russian diplomats hand-push trolley over North Korea border

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Russian diplomats and their family members returning from North Korea were forced to push a handcar with their belongings over the border as the reclusive country remained closed due to the coronavirus, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

The Russian foreign ministry also published video footage of the surreal journey, which evoked cinematic depictions of bygone eras more than a border crossing in 2021.

North Korea has imposed strict restrictions on travel and transport of goods from other countries, citing coronavirus measures.

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.

North Korea has imposed severe restrictions at its border since January previous year, halting foreign tourism, some worldwide trade, and all civilian forms of transport in and out of the country.

Alberta's budget pledges more aid for COVID-19 with hard deficit
He said even with the reduced spending as planned by 2022, the government will need to find billions of dollars of new money. That includes $1.5 billion for key economic sectors such as energy agriculture and forestry.

Russian Ambassador Alexander Matsegora was quoted as telling Russian media earlier this month that the remaining diplomats in Pyongyang have been barred from using public transportation or visiting parks and museums, and struggle to purchase basic foodstuffs.

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

The World Food Programme said in a recent revision to its operational plan that "there is a significant residual risk that, should food imports not be possible, operations will cease in 2021".

The state has been known to shoot people trying to cross the border without authorization, as the BBC and The Guardian have reported. Outside experts are highly skeptical of the North's claim of having no Covid-19 cases.

Even when North Korea's trains are running properly, the infrastructure is rickety. A year ago, 13 Russian Embassy employees were flown out of North Korea as the lockdown began.

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