North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un reportedly sends thousands of his country’s poor citizens to Russia, where they are basically “slaves” who send most of their wages back to North Korea, according to Fox News.
And, these laborers have also been sent to other countries, including China and Qatar. However, Russia has recently denied that it uses North Korean laborers.
“Alarmed human rights groups say the North Korea workers in Russia are little more than slaves, subjected to everything from cruel and violent acts to ruthless exploitation at the hands of corrupt officials, while being forced to turn over large chunks of their pay to the North Korean government,” Fox recently reported.
The Center for North Korean Human Rights has estimated that 50,000 North Korean laborers work in low-paying jobs in Russia, and that they send about $120 million each year back to Pyongyang, Fox reported.
“The North Korean government maintains strict controls over their workers’ profits, in some cases probably taking 90 percent of their wages,” according to Scott Synder, director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy at the Council of Foreign Relations, Fox said. “This is an issue that has been going on under the radar for a long time.”
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently proposed new sanctions on North Korea to address this issue, following a U.S. State Department report on human trafficking earlier this summer.
That report said North Koreans laborers were subjected to “exploitative labor conditions characteristic of trafficking cases such as withholding of identity documents, non-payment for services rendered, physical abuse, lack of safety measures or extremely poor living conditions,” Fox reported.
“Secretary Tillerson has called on all countries to fully implement all U.N. Security Council resolutions, sever or downgrade diplomatic relations, and isolate [North Korea] financially, including through new sanctions, severing trade relationships, expelling guest workers and banning imports from North Korean,” a State Department official told Fox News.