Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: North Korean ambassador to China stranded in Beijing

As skaters and sledders vie for medals at the Beijing Olympics, another extraordinary event is quietly unfolding on nine acres in the city’s embassy district. Here, in rows of concrete beige buildings, hundreds of North Koreans are enduring perhaps the longest-running pandemic-enforced separation in the world. The Communist state has sealed off its borders so tightly that it has left its own ambassador to China stranded in Beijing. Ji Jae-Ryong, 79, has been apart from his family for years even though his replacement arrived last February, two sources familiar with the matter say. Ji is ailing and regularly receives treatment in an elite Beijing hospital, one of them said. (https://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/beijing-snapshot-korea-games-diplomat-remains-82950721) They declined to be identified because they aren’t permitted to speak publicly.

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