U.S. Blacklists Two Companies It Says Exploits North Korean Workers
15 Jan 2020

The U.S. blacklisted two companies, including a China-based firm, that it says are involved in exploiting North Korean workers in violation of United Nations prohibitions against labor exports.

The U.N. banned North Korean labor exports as part of an effort to squeeze international revenues it says are used by the Kim regime to retain power and pay for its nuclear-weapons programs. Pyongyang rents out tens of thousands of its citizens as laborers to overseas markets, a practice human-rights groups say is modern-day slavery.

The U.S. blacklisted North Korea’s Namgang Trading Corporation, alleging the company was involved in the logistics of exporting North Korean workers and repatriates funds back to North Korea, some of which are routed directly to the North Korean government.

The Pyongyang-based company handles the workers’ passports, visas and overseas employment and maintained laborers in Russia, Nigeria and countries in the Middle East in 2018, according to the Treasury Department.

U.S. officials accused China-based company Beijing Sukbakso of being a North Korean lodging facility that provided significant support for Namgang Trading and Namgang Construction, another company that was blacklisted by the U.S. in 2016 for exporting North Korean workers to the Middle East and Asia.

By Mengqi Sun and Ian Talley, The Wall Street Journal, 14 January 2020

Read more at The Wall Street Journal

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