Human rights group: North Korea slave force earns Kim Jong Un regime $300M

Companies in Russia, Mongolia and Poland employ North Korean slaves as a form of cheap labor.
By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  Dec. 23, 2015 at 11:06 AM
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SEOUL, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- North Korea deploys at least 50,000 people overseas in its force of involuntary laborers who earn up to $300 million for the Kim Jong Un regime.

The numbers released Wednesday by the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights, a South Korean think tank, include a list of companies that have exploited North Korea's slave labor force, the Hankyoreh reported.

The list, a NKDB spokesman said, was published to help improve the human rights situation of North Koreans overseas. The list was sourced from South Korean data and North Korean defector testimonials, said Yoon Yeo-sang, the founder of NKDB.

At present, 126 companies in 14 sectors outside North Korea, including in Russia, Mongolia and Poland, employ North Korean slaves as a form of cheap labor.

Yonhap reported in the case of workers deployed in Poland and Mongolia, 90 percent of their earnings are remitted to the North Korean authorities.

In the case of North Korea labor exploitation in Poland, North Korean workers retain just 10 percent of their income, or less than $100, after giving the rest to the regime and to "intermediaries" on site, said Lee Seung-ju, a researcher at NKDB.

In Mongolia, North Korean workers "donate" on average $650 of their monthly income to the state, which amounts to 90 percent of their total earnings. North Korean forced laborers in Mongolia also are expected to do extra work that earns on average $100 a month, NKDB stated.

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