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This is how Kim Jongun uses modern day slaves in luxury construction

This is how Kim Jongun uses modern day slaves in luxury construction

Less than 100 kilometers from the North Korean border is Vladivostok, the political, economic and commercial center of the Russian Far East. very russian city plays an important role Also in the North Korean economy.

This is because North Korean workers are happy to be employed at Russian construction sites, mainly because of the low cost.

The bump is just that International sanctions against Pyongyang prohibit this kind of activity, that is, allowing North Koreans to work abroad. In fact, UN Security Council Resolution 2397, issued in December 2017, states that all North Koreans working abroad must return home by 2019 at the latest.

However, unofficial estimates indicate that 30,000 North Koreans were registered in 2018 There may be another 2-3 thousand people in Vladivostok, most of them, about 85 percent, work in construction. The question correctly arises as to why it is in the interest of North Korea to have its citizens travel abroad on particularly strict conditions in order to allow and even encourage such activity.

The main reason is to look forward to when North Korea will make very good profits from labor exports. The North Korean authorities are obligated to all specified acts to provide an important part of the income required abroad as a country called “loyalty money”.

Workers, according to a previous statement from the Russian Ministry of Labor, approx They can earn an amount equivalent to $415 per month, i.e. 40 percent less Like the average Russian salary. From here comes the loyalty money that must be paid to the regime, with which the Pyongyang leadership generates an amount equivalent to about $500 million annually.

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As North Koreans no longer had a residence permit for work purposes, workers were forced to work more than 10 hours a day and their wages fell in parallel. After paying the loyalty money, they only had about $200 left in their pockets.

If that wasn’t enough, the country of North Korea has recently become more for $100 Increase the amount of loyalty to be paid.

The lion’s share of the proceeds will be used to fund real estate development projects in the capital, Pyongyangsuffering from an acute shortage of housing. This is the reason for the system Objectives Construction of 50,000 new residential properties by 2025, 10,000 of which are scheduled to be delivered by the end of this year. However, it is worth noting that in North Korea Only the privileged have the right to live in Pyongyang, so the loyalty money is not intended to increase the comfort of the broad masses, but rather the elite. In addition to residential real estate, the North Korean leadership is happy to spend on hotels and ski resorts planned in the coastal city of Wonsan, but also for residents of the capital.

Modern residential real estate in Pyongyang. Among other things, the system spends the loyalty money flowing into such buildings. Photo: Eric Laforge/Art In All Of Us/Corbis via Getty Images

In addition to North Korea’s much-needed hard-to-reach hard currency, the coronavirus epidemic is also playing a role in increasing the burden on workers working abroad.

Although there are no official coronavirus patients in North Korea, serious epidemic preventive and restrictive measures have been taken in the country.

The North Korean economy has been going through a serious crisis for decades, in which both poor management and sanctions imposed by Western countries have played a role.. However, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the common border with one of the major trading partners, China, has been closed so that trade between the two countries will increase in 2020. 80 percent fell. Because nearly 90 percent of North Korea’s trade is with ChinaThe lockdown has nearly wrecked the North Korean economy and threatens starvation. Kim Jong-un himself admitted in a speech in June that it would be necessary to start something in North Korea with the “tight” food supply situation.

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However, it is also feasible for the host countries to hire North Korean workers. On the one hand, because of the low wages mentioned earlier, and on the other hand, because foreign construction companies do not bear direct responsibility for the workers. The workers are employed by a state-owned company in the North early on and have the right to control and manage them. Of course, this also means that practically nothing guarantees proper working conditions or physical safety of workers.

What a job abroad for North Koreans without exaggeration, the modern-day slave-dealers of the system who point out that the oppressive regime uses its own citizens as well, to ensure survival.

Cover image source: Carl Court / Getty Images

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