Russia withdraws majority of North Korean embassy staff

Seoul: Russia has withdrawn most of the staff from its North Korean embassy, ​​a Seoul official said on Thursday, as commodity shortages and anti-virus restrictions due to a pandemic have pushed many foreign diplomats out from the country.

NK News, a northern media outlet, earlier reported that dozens of Russian Embassy staff left Pyongyang by train on Wednesday, leaving behind only two diplomats, including Ambassador Alexander Matsegora, and technicians. .

“Russia had a large embassy which could originally station a hundred people, but the government understands that most of them have left,” the Unification Ministry official told reporters under the usual condition. anonymity.

The official declined to comment on the details of the report, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The Russian and Chinese embassies are currently among the nine remaining foreign missions in the North, while all staff from eight United Nations agencies have left, the official added.

Pyongyang has imposed strict border controls and restrictions since early last year to prevent the spread of the virus, which has led many countries, including Britain and Germany, to withdraw diplomats there.