North Korea: Red Cross evacuates its hermit state as Kim launches brutal crackdown | World | News

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Kim Jong-un “struggles” reveals North Korean expert

Since the coronavirus outbreak, the Hermit State has continued to claim that the country has no cases of the deadly virus. The World Health Organization said the country had identified 8,594 suspected coronavirus cases but no one had tested positive.

In an effort to stop the spread of the virus, North Korea has suspended almost all international flights and cross-border rail and road traffic.

Earlier this year, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un introduced a draconian rule allowing guards to shoot anyone trying to cross the border.

Goods imported into the country also became scarce as trade declined under the new restrictions.

Today, fears for the North Korean people were raised after Red Cross workers and staff from other international humanitarian organizations evacuated Pyongyang to return to their families.

North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un (Image: Getty)

Red Cross staff evacuate North Korea (Image: Getty)

International Committee of the Red Cross spokesperson Najum Ul-Saqib Iqbal said: “I can confirm that our last international staff member left on Wednesday after completing their mission to meet their families.

He added that the employees “joined other international staff from organizations and embassies who have also left” the country.

The Red Cross office in the North Korean capital remains operational without foreign workers, the spokesperson said.

Graziella Piccoli, ICRC regional deputy director in Asia, said part of the ongoing work should be done at the Red Cross office in Beijing.

READ MORE: PANIC in North Korea: Kim Jong-un’s coronavirus fear exposed

Foreign diplomats fled the country in March

Foreign diplomats fled the country in March (Image: Getty)

She said: “They have completed their missions in the DPRK.

“They will go to their country of origin to find their families.”

Katharina Zellweger, director of KorAid Limited, a humanitarian organization in Hong Kong, said fears of the virus spreading were preventing the hermit state from receiving aid.

She said: “Lack of funding, strict quarantine measures, the inability to import goods, as well as the reduction of international staff are among the main problems that aid agencies have faced in meeting the needs. urgent. ”

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Coronavirus cases around the world

Coronavirus cases around the world (Image: Express)

This departure comes after the closure of several embassies in Pyongyang.

The German, Swiss and French missions all pulled staff earlier this year after North Korea sealed its borders in late January to curb the spread of the virus.

According to NK News, 15 Bulgarian, Romanian and Iranian expatriates as well as 12 Chinese diplomats left North Korea last month.

At the start of 2020, 50 United Nations staff, 11 Red Cross staff and 13 NGO staff were in Pyongyang.

Red Cross staff evacuate Pyongyang

Red Cross staff evacuate Pyongyang (Image: Getty)

Today, there are only three United Nations system staff from overseas remaining in the country.

But the UN has said it will not withdraw from the country.

Eri Kaneko, associate spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General, said: “After a year in North Korea, the rest of the UN International staff are returning home to see their families.

“International staff are expected to return to Pyongyang as soon as entry restrictions related to COVID-19 are lifted in 2021.

Foreign diplomats fled North Korea this year

Foreign diplomats fled North Korea this year (Image: Getty)

“All United Nations offices remain open and operate.”

Jérôme Sauvage, former United Nations resident coordinator for the country, warned that the lack of a presence in North Korea would be disastrous for the population.

He said: “As you know, half the population suffers from malnutrition, and aid from the United Nations and NGOs is in some cases the only source of support they receive.

“And now that won’t happen.

“So this is an extremely sad situation.

“We will basically have to wait until there is no more COVID in the region…. It means sometime in the middle or end of next year.

“These programs take a long time to restart, these desks are not supported when there is no one inside and it will take a long time.”

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