Russian diplomats flee North Korea She described an acute shortage of medicines and other essential commodities in the country, indicating a crisis fueled by one of the strictest quarantine regimes in the world amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a message posted online on Thursday, Russian embassy staff in Pyongyang described a “mass exodus” of foreign diplomatic personnel who predicted it would “unfortunately not be the last” due to the unbearable conditions in the North Korean capital.
“It is possible to understand those who are leaving [North] The Korean capital. Hardly everyone can afford the unprecedented total restrictions [on individuals]And Russian embassy employees wrote: “The acute shortage of basic commodities, including medicines, and the absence of any possibility to solve health problems.”
Russia has one of the largest foreign diplomatic fingerprints in North Korea, but staff are starting to leave due to shortages and problems obtaining essential medicines. “There are hardly any diplomats left” in Pyongyang, the embassy letter said, with the total international presence in North Korea reaching 290. All but three foreign aid workers had left the country until last December, he said ReportsThe United Nations said last week that it had no international staff left in the country.
In February, Russian diplomats and their family members were as well He was forced to ride on a hand-propelled railroad car Across the border after spending more than 30 hours on a train from Pyongyang to the border.
North Korea’s borders have in fact been closed since last January in what may be the world’s most severe quarantine of Covid-19. Analysts say the measures allowed the government to increase its control over daily life to levels comparable to the famine years of the 1990s.
As little information leaked out of the country, there were indications of food shortages and a worsening crisis. Six North Korean border guards defected to China last week after describing them as “hunger and exhaustion.” While defections occur regularly, it is not unusual for such a large group to cross borders simultaneously.
In a report last month, a senior researcher on North Korea told Human Rights Watch She was told last year Lack of food, soap, toothpaste and batteries. North Korea’s trade with China decreased by about 80%, with imports of food and medicine dropping near zero last year, as the government claimed that trade, along with the “yellow dust” that blows across the border from China, could lead to the spread of the Coronavirus. The severe floods also undermined agricultural production, exacerbating food shortages in the country. Lina YoonResearcher Books.
She compared the new “extreme measures” with “the very strict controls of past decades, when the government controlled all information and distribution of food and materials, while prohibiting” free market “activities. These conditions led to mass starvation in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the failure of food supplies “.
Officially, North Korea has not reported any cases of coronavirus in the country, due to strict travel restrictions and quarantine facilities. But analysts believe there may have been an outbreak in the army and in the border towns that the government quarantined at a later time.
North Korea will receive 1.7 million doses of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine as part of WHO’s Covax Program, Which provides vaccines to middle- and low-income countries.
Yoon has called on the Biden administration and other foreign governments to prioritize North Korea’s aid efforts, rather than focusing primarily on negotiations over its nuclear weapons program. Last month, the country resumed testing of cruise missiles and Short-range ballistic missiles.
“It is extremely important for the world to remember the people of North Korea, not just its nuclear weapons,” she wrote.