[Photos] 70 North Korean workers sent home from Chinese factory

Kim Sung Il  |  2017-11-06 14:47
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A factory in Chinas Jillin Province. Over 70 North Korean workers
dispatched to this location were sent back home in the middle of October.
 Image: Daily NK.

Inside sources have reported that a group of North Korean workers employed by a factory in Chinas Longjing City, Kaisantun, were given orders to return home in the middle of October. 

A pharmaceutical factory [name redacted for the source's protection] in Kaisantun that employed over 70 North Korean laborers sent them all home about 15 days ago. Although they hadnt even been here for a year, their contracts were cancelled in the middle of their term and they returned to North Korea," a local Chinese source reported to Daily NK on November 2.

To replace the North Korean workers, local Chinese workers have been recruited. However, the source notes that this has introduced challenges for the management, as Chinese citizens cost more to employ. 

The incident mirrors a wider trend being seen in China, which has arisen from recent international sanctions. The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2375 on September 11, stipulating that all existing North Korean overseas laborers should return home upon the expiration of their current contracts. The fact that these workers were sent home before the end of their contract suggests that the Chinese authorities are actively intervening or pressuring businesses through unofficial means to dump their North Korean workers.  

Daily NK reported in September that the Chinese authorities were pressuring factories in Dandong City to cancel their employment contracts with North Korean workers. 

If the authorities are sending back North Korean workers from Kaisantun, they will likely do the same in Tumen and Hunchun, the source added. 

Another local source told Daily NK that in the beginning of October, about 30 North Korean laborers were spotted shopping in the markets of Yanji. "Usually," he said, "the laborers travel in groups of ten at the most, so seeing this many together was a first. They bought a large number of products and then werent seen in the markets for some time. I asked about this, and found out that they had all returned to North Korea.  

Although the conditions are difficult and dangerous, working overseas has been attractive to North Korean workers wanting to send money home. But the North Korean regimes pursuit of missile and nuclear weapons development has made this more difficult.

Many of these workers paid a bribe to get the chance to work overseas and earn money; its unfortunate that they wont be able to earn as much as they hoped, the second source concluded.

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