SEOUL, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- About 300 North Korean state workers in Oman have repatriated, as countries grow increasingly wary of the presence of forced laborers within their borders.
According to Seoul's Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, the workers were asked to return home, Radio Free Asia reported Thursday.
The North Korean workforce was being deployed for construction projects in 2015, according to the KOTRA paper on trends and political issues in Oman-North Korea trade.
"All North Korean workers residing in Oman were returned to their home country," the report stated, according to RFA.
Oman is one of several states in the Middle East that has been cited as a host for North Korea's labor force.
Other countries in the region where North Korean workers were or are currently deployed include Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Libya, according to the report.
North Korean officials are sometimes intercepted in third countries as they return to Pyongyang with earned cash.
In March, two North Korean passport holders were detained in Sri Lanka's main airport in Colombo.
The North Koreans were carrying significant sums of cash that were collected at a construction site in Oman.
The money is most likely compensation for North Korean workers who are only allowed to keep a tiny fraction of their earnings, while the rest of the revenue goes to the Kim Jong Un regime.
On Thursday, South Korea's foreign ministry spokesman Cho Joon-hyuk said the repatriation of the workers was most likely a response from the Oman government to "take appropriate measures in light of the international community's concerns about North Korean overseas workers."
North Korea's deployment of forced laborers, about 50,000 in total, according to one South Korean estimate, earns the Kim Jong Un regime up to $300 million a year.