Russian diplomats and their families were forced to exit North Korea and return home using a hand-pushed rail trolley as a result of the communist country’s strict Covid-19 protocols, according to a Russian Foreign Ministry post on Facebook.
The group of eight completed their journey on Feb. 25 by pushing the rail trolly for about a kilometer over a bridge over the Tumannaya River before entering Russian territory. Prior to using the rail trolly, the eight employees of the Russian Embassy had traveled 32 hours by train and then two hours by bus, according to the post.
North Korea closed its borders to international travel in Jan. 2020 and implemented strict measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 that have impacted travel entering and leaving the country. (RELATED: Hackers From North Korea, Russia Targeted COVID-19 Vaccine Makers, According To Microsoft).
The Russian Foreign Ministry post showed Sorokin pushing the handcar stacked with suitcases and holding his wife and four children as they crossed into Russian territory.
“Since the borders have been closed for already more than a year and passenger communication is suspended, it was necessary to get home by a long and hard path,” the ministry posted on the Russian social media site, Telegram. The ministry said Sorokin had been working at its embassy in Pyongyang, North Korea, the post read. The post concludes with a hashtag in Russian, #СвоихНеБросаем, which translates to “no man left behind.”
The family was greeted at the Russian border station of Khasan by staff from the Foreign Ministry Office in Vladivostok and transported to the Vladivostok Airport before returning home, the Facebook post concluded.