Russian diplomats hand-push trolley over North Korea border

Moscow, Feb 26 (AP) A group of Russian diplomats and their family members returned to Russia from North Korea on a hand-pushed rail trolley on Thursday because the coronavirus pandemic has halted all passenger traffic between the countries, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a Facebook post.

Since the borders have been closed for over a year and passenger traffic has been halted,” staff members of the Russian Embassy in North Korea and their family members embarked on a long and difficult journey to get home, the ministry said.

The group of eight people took a 32-hour train ride, followed by two hours on a bus. They then boarded a rail trolley and pushed themselves for about a kilometer (half a mile) across the border into Russia.

The ministry posted photos showing embassy employees with their children and suitcases on a trolley. A video showed two people pushing the trolley across a railway bridge.

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

North Korea has claimed to be coronavirus-free, and sealed its borders and halted passenger traffic with other countries. Outside experts are highly skeptical of the North’s claim of having no COVID-19 cases. (AP)