First commercial flight in a month departs North Korea, diplomats leave country after 'confinement'

The foreigners were confined to their rooms, barred from visiting restaurants, hotels and shops for at least 30 days due to coronavirus scare

Image for representation purpose only IANS

As tension is building in North Korea with three missiles being fired 'violating' the peace deal with the US, the first commercial flight left the country in a month. At least 80 foreigners who were quarantined in the country's capital Pyongyang left the country.

As many as 380 foreigners left the country after being quarantined for weeks between February and March. They boarded an Air Koryo flight to Vladivostok, stated NK News.

Flight KOR271 left Pyongyang at 08:40 local time on Monday (23:40 on Sunday) and arrived in Vladivostok at 10:47, according to the BBC.

The foreigners who left North Korea included embassy staff and bureaucrats from many countries including Germany, Russia, France, Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Mongolia and Egypt.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had directed the authorities to stop the spread of coronavirus and threatened that those who come in contact with the virus will be dealt with properly. Thus hundreds of foreigners were confined to their homes in the name of self-quarantine.

So far, North Korea has maintained that no cases of coronavirus have been found in the country, despite rumors that those who contracted the virus are being allegedly executed.

Reports claim that though other embassies have decided to close down temporarily, the British embassy in North Korea will function.

The foreigners were quarantined for at least for 30 days. Foreigners were also barred from visiting restaurants, shops, even gyms and hotels.

Though the international community maintains that North Korea has a woeful health sector, the country has rubbished the claims.

It is also said that North Korea fired a second set of missiles in 10 days to stop rumors about coronavirus spreading in the country. The missile launches are said to be routine drills and were overseen by President Kim Jong-un.

Another theory claims that the missile test is a way of North Korea expressing its anger at the failure of the peace deal. Many countries including the US, Australia and the European Union have imposed a series of sanctions on North Korea over its stand on nuclear weapons.