PYONGYANG, May 14. /TASS/. North Korea has received 25,000 tonnes of high-quality wheat from Russia in humanitarian aid, the Russian embassy in Pyongyang said in a statement on Facebook on Thursday.
"On May 14, Ambassador Alexander Matsegora and Russian embassy diplomats visited the port of Nampo, where the Polina cargo ship flying the flag of Sierra Leone had arrived. It delivered 25,000 tonnes of high-quality grain from Novorossiysk," the statement reads.
According to the embassy, due to the current quarantine restrictions, the ship’s crew members were placed under medical observation and the cargo was being unloaded from the ship in an isolated area of the port. "We had to watch the great teamwork of North Korean longshoremen and railroad workers from afar," the statement runs. "We could see that they were doing their best to make sure that not a single grain was lost. They stretched out a tarp between the side of the ship and railway tracks and carefully collected everything that was deposited from the dockside crane’s scoop," the embassy noted. "The harbormaster told us that every day at least 40 freight cars loaded with wheat depart for Pyongyang, where the wheat is either sent to warehouses or processed at flour mills," the statement said, adding that since weather forecasts predicted that rain was on the way, the unloading was expected to be completed on May 26-27.
A North Korean Foreign Ministry official who accompanied the Russian diplomats during the visit said that the country was very grateful to Russia for the humanitarian aid, the embassy pointed out.
According to the Russian diplomatic mission, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a joint report in 2019, which said that at least 10 mln people in North Korea faced food shortages. In 2019, Russia provided about 8,000 tonnes of wheat to the country through the UN World Food Program. The WFP mission to Pyongyang estimated the total value of the grain provided by Russia to North Korea in 2019 at $8 mln.