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NK delegation returns home from visit to Russia's Far East

By Yonhap

Published : May 19, 2024 - 10:19

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North Korean and Russian flags are displayed at the Moscow railway station. (Getty Images) North Korean and Russian flags are displayed at the Moscow railway station. (Getty Images)

A North Korean delegation from the country's border city of Rason has returned home after a weeklong visit to Russia's Far East, state media reported Sunday.

The Korean Central News Agency said the delegation led by the chief of the Rason Municipal People's Committee arrived back home on Saturday. The delegation had left for the trip on May 12.

The one-sentence dispatch did not provide further details, but the delegation is believed to have discussed resuming passenger train service between the two sides.

Last week, Oleg Kozhemyako, the governor of Russia's northeastern region of Primorsky Krai, said after a meeting with the North's delegation that passenger trains connecting Vladivostok to the North are set to resume after years of a COVID-19 pandemic-related suspension.

Rason, which borders Russia and China, is a logistics hub designated as a special city by the North. A railway connects the border city to Khasan, Russia, which is then linked to Vladivostok through Russian rail service.

Freight and passenger rail services connecting Rason and Khasan had been suspended since the outbreak of the pandemic, but trains for cargo shipments resumed in November 2022.

Experts voiced concerns that if the passenger rail services reopen, North Korea may start to dispatch its workers to Russia's Far East, which is banned under UN Security Council sanctions resolutions. Moscow is believed to be suffering from a shortage of labor due to its war with Ukraine. (Yonhap)