Russia says Pyongyang facing severe shortages after COVID-19 measures

MOSCOW: Russia’s embassy in Pyongyang said on Thursday (Apr 1) that conditions in North Korea’s capital had become exceptionally difficult after drastic measures were imposed to combat the coronavirus.

The hermetic totalitarian state, which has yet to confirm a single case of the coronavirus, has closed its borders, locked down entire cities and taken a range of other steps to try to prevent an outbreak.

In a post on its Facebook page, the Russian embassy said foreign diplomatic personnel were abandoning Pyongyang, with fewer than 300 foreigners remaining in the city.

READ: North Korea to receive nearly 2 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses

“Not everyone, far from it, can endure restrictions that are unprecedented in their severity, the most acute shortage of essential goods, including medicine, and the inability to solve health problems,” it said.

The UN special rapporteur on the rights situation in North Korea last month warned that anti-coronavirus measures had caused “severe economic hardship” in a country already fraught with food insecurity.

Impoverished North Korea – which is under international sanctions over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes – has long struggled to feed itself, suffering chronic food shortages.

The anti-virus shutdown has cancelled all flights in or out of the country, as well as cross-border trains.

READ: North Korea executed people, shut capital to stop COVID-19, South Korea agency says

Neighbouring Russia has close relations with North Korea and maintains a significant diplomatic presence.

In February, eight Russian diplomats and family members – the youngest of them a three-year-old girl – arrived home from North Korea on a hand-pushed rail trolley due to Pyongyang’s restrictions.

Video went viral of the trolley, laden with suitcases and women, being pushed across a border railway bridge into Russia.

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram

Source link

SHARE ME PLEASE!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Leave a Reply