• Kyodo

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Air Koryo, North Korea’s state-run carrier, will provide a special flight later this week from Pyongyang to Russia’s Vladivostok for diplomats and international organization staff who want to return home, a diplomatic source said Monday.

The special flight from North Korea’s capital to Russia’s far eastern city is scheduled to be operated on Friday, the source in Beijing added, as the country has been stepping up efforts to prevent an influx of the new pneumonia-causing coronavirus raging in China.

In the wake of an outbreak of the new virus, North Korea has cut off traffic to and from China and Russia since earlier this year. Pyongyang has claimed it has seen no infections with the virus, but it has quarantined foreign nationals across the nation.

Germany, France and Switzerland have decided to temporarily close their embassies in Pyongyang as they have been struggling to procure commodities.

Other countries, meanwhile, have significantly downsized operations at their embassies in North Korea, sources familiar with the situation in the capital said.

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