North Korean gov’t forces citizens to work in other countries

November 26, 2014
This Rodong Sinmun photo released on June 30, 2014, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un talking to military officials during a tactical rocket firing drill of the North's Strategic Force at an unidentified place.   (Yonhap)

North Korean workers in Malaysia say that most of their wages get sent to Kim Jong-un, left, and the North Korean government. (Yonhap)

By Lee Min-hyung

North Korean laborers forced to work in foreign countries only receive about 10-15 percent of their wages, while the rest of the income is sent home to the regime in Pyongyang, a Seoul-based think tank reported Friday.

The administration under Kim Jong-un pockets up to $2.3 billion a year by taking money that approximately 50,000 North Korean workers earn in 16 countries, says an Asan Institute for Policy Studies report.

The report said the North Korean workers are not paid directly because the regime prevents workers from agreeing to labor contracts with any companies.

They are paid only when they return, with most of their wages going to government officials and the Korean Workers’ Party.

Russia and China topped the list in terms of the number of forced North Korean laborers, each with about 20,000 workers. According to the report, the workers undertake dangerous jobs, such as logging or working on construction sites.

They are also under constant on-site surveillance, and the regime bans them from traveling.

North Korea ranked 43rd among 167 countries in the 2014 Global Slavery Index released by Australia’s Walk Free Foundation. The index, published last Monday, estimated that about 93,000 North Koreans are in conditions that amount to modern day slavery. This includes people forced into labor or marriage, human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

The report came amid rising international pressure to bring North Korean leader Kim Jong-un before the International Criminal Court (ICC) to stand trial for violating human rights.

Last week, a United Nations committee approved a resolution calling on the North to stop its human rights violations.

The resolution prompted fierce opposition from the North, with the nation’s state media threatening to bolster its military defenses.

One Comment

  1. tom parker

    November 26, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    its totally unbelievable that this fat possessed cheese eating baby of a dick tator has control over grown men (pussies)in his control. need to target with drones…..