North Korean migrant 'slaves' in Russia. This is how Pyongyang tackles crisis. (AN).
North Korea has concluded an agreement with Russia to increase the number of migrant workers from the regime in the North to the Eurasian Country. Thanks to their work, Pyongyang receives a part of their wages, increasing foreign currency to improve its shaky economy. This happens despite the series of sanctions that the UN imposed on North Korea because of its nuclear program and missile tests.
The agreement was signed last March 17 in Pyongyang between Ri Kwang-gun, Vice-Minister for External Economic Relations, and Dmitri Demidenko, Russian representative of the Interior Ministry, emigration sector.
Under the agreement, North Korean migrants must have a good knowledge of the Russian language so a cooperation program was set up between the Institute for Foreign Studies University in Pyongyang, and the Pushkin Institute for Languages. Already in 2015 Russia began to demand that North Korean migrants study the Russian language and history, and be tested before being sent abroad.
At present there are about 30 thousand North Korean workers in Russia. Most are engaged in forestry, mining and construction.
The latest available figures show that North Korean workers are paid around $ 100 US per month. Of these, 70% is taken by Pyongyang as "loyalty payment" to the state.
The UN Commission on Human Rights has condemned this form of slavery of North Korean migrants.
The United Nations says there are at least 50 thousand North Koreans working abroad, mostly in China and Russia. But groups of them are also in Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Oman, Poland, Qatar and the UAE.
These workers earn $ 120-150 per month and are often forced to work up to 20 hours a day, with only one or two days off a month, and insufficient food. Of course, a portion of their wages is passed by direct debit to the North Korea government.