Eight employees of the Russian embassy in Pyongyang have spent more than 34 hours trying to get home across the country’s closed borders, finishing their journey in a hand-operated rail cart. The arduousness of the journey was caused by North Korea's severe pandemic restrictions, which have cut off almost all travel into and out of the country. The Russian foreign ministry posted two photos of the group crossing a snowy landscape and a video of the final stretch of the journey (see below), colourful luggage piled on the trolley, whooping with delight as they crossed the rail bridge over the Tumen River, which divides the two countries. It said the main "engine" of the handcar was the third secretary of the Embassy Vladislav Sorokin, and the youngest traveller was his three-year-old daughter Varya, adding that the diplomats had to push the vehicle for more than a kilometre. The torturous journey was the only way the Russians could leave the reclusive nation, which sealed its borders last year as part of a drastic effort to keep Covid-19 at bay and stop the virus from causing the collapse of its crumbling health system. Flights operated from Vladivostok in eastern Russia by Air Koryo, North Korea’s state-owned airline, have been suspended for some time.