Russian Federation sending back North Korean workers

Workers from North Korea

In an attempt to stop Kim Jong Un's regime from the development of its nuclear programs, Russian Federation is sending back North Korean workers back home.

"The task now is to seek to reduce tensions in relations between Pyongyang and Seoul, and try to reduce tensions between North Korea and the United States", he said, continuing that "the issue at hand at the moment is work in a bilateral format", according to a report in TASS.

Alexander Matsegora stressed to reporters on Wednesday that Russian Federation is acting in line with a UN Security Council sanctions resolution adopted past year.

Matsegora said some 35,000 North Koreans work in the construction, farm, forestry, and fishery sectors in Russian Federation, and that a number of governors have begun deporting the workers. The resolution introduced more restrictions on the supplies of crude oil and oil products to Pyongyang and also urged all countries to expel North Korean guest workers within 24 months. Matsegora added, "We don't return anyone to North Korea by force". These workers fill in for highly unsafe yet extremely low-paid construction jobs.

A State Department report from 2017 said some of these workers are even subjected to forced labor.

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Matsegora claims the allegations of forced labor are "complete nonsense", but he conceded that Chinese laborers would be unwilling to take on the construction jobs because the pay is too low.

Russian Federation issues 12,000-15,000 visas to North Koreans each year, and 35,000 North Koreans have been working here, mostly in construction, agriculture and fishing, Mr Matsegora added.

"This will deal a blow to the Russian economy, a serious blow, especially to the Far East", Matsegora said. "If other countries also follow suit and expel North Korean workers this could cumulatively have a large effect on the total amount of money that the North Korean regime earns overseas".

"There is reason to be skeptical about the depth of Russia's commitment to enforcing these sanctions", he added.

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