Russia Using Tens Of Thousands Of North Korean ‘Slave” Laborers

Finland Russia GPSWikiImages / Pixabay

Human rights groups claim that Russia is using tens of thousands of North Korean laborers in its construction industry, in what has been termed as “slave labor.” North Korea is facing its worst drought in over a century and massive food shortages. United Nations has also warned of mass starvation in the country.

North Korea earns $2 billion via ‘state-sponsored slavery’

Supplying overseas workers is one of the major sources of cash for Pyongyang. It sends tens of thousands of “state-sponsored slaves” abroad only to seize their wages. Amid cash-crunch, dictator Kim Jong-Un has dramatically increased the number of workers sent abroad. For well over a decade, North Korea earned money through illicit means such as drug smuggling, arms sales, and counterfeiting U.S. dollars.

Due to sanctions from the United Nations and major economic powers, the North Korean economy is in dire shape. According to BBC News, tens of thousands of North Korean people are working as slaves in the remote far east of Russia. ABC News reports that Kim Jong-Un has “doubled” the number of workers sent abroad.

North Korean regime generates approximately $2 billion by exporting “state-sponsored slaves.” That money is used to fund multiple projects in the country, including nuclear projects. ABC News added that about 90,000 North Korean people are working in nearly 40 countries. Of them, at least 25,000 are in Russia, mainly involved in the construction industry.

Russia, North Korea enjoy warm relations

Russia is one of the very few countries Pyongyang has cordial relations with. In March, Kim Jon-Un announced that his regime would celebrate 2015 as the “year of friendship” with Russia. The two countries have stepped up economic ties and cultural exchanges.

Last year, the U.S. State Department condemned the Kim Jong-Un regime for its attitude towards laborers. The U.S. asked North Korea to “end the use of forced labor in prison camps and among North Korean workers abroad.” NK Watch has also urged the United Nations to investigate the “state-sponsored slavery.”


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About the Author

Vikas Shukla
Vikas Shukla has a strong interest in business, finance, and technology. He writes regularly on these topics. - He can be contacted by email at or on Twitter @VikShukla10

14 Comments on "Russia Using Tens Of Thousands Of North Korean ‘Slave” Laborers"

  1. These Russian commenters aren’t paid to make a coherent argument. Their job is to be the mouthpiece for the Kremlin, and we all know how “pragmatic” and “reasonable” they are.

  2. Are you under the impression that these slaves would operate within the domiciles of the Russian populace? As in, they make your bed, clean your house, and cook your dinner? It would likely be for large government development projects. As you previously said, “are you seriosly?”

  3. Nothing like Russia’s general lack of a moral compass. Russians won’t do a thing.

  4. Nothing like American propaganda. Americans will eat it up

  5. ah yes, the Mexican slaves that go to the US of their own free will….

  6. stalin was never stopped… so they didn’t experience the same westernization that Germany or Japan did… which tells me there hasn’t been too much that might have changed in their borders, other than less mass-murders they saw under stalin, i’d hope… i know you’re being facetious but i think it’s still interesting to point out

  7. It ‘s true ! Every morning I drink a bottle of vodka , sit on your bear and take in hand to whip them beat Korean slaves.Are you seriosly?

  8. This what a Socialist Workers Paradise looks like.

  9. we all know n.Korea is hell on earth but ruSSia is a close second in terms of being hell on earth and is trying its hardest to close the gap. Did Stalin get re-incarnated and I missed it?

  10. how about the millions Mexican slave workers in the US? vikas shukla next time go report about something like toilets in India or the rape situation in your country

  11. Not just Putin. The Soviets did the same thing.

  12. This is not anything new. This happened in the Soviet Union also. I have met and been among a whole farmers market of Koreans. All had lived in Ukraine for generations. They were descendants of North Korean slave labor.

  13. I seem to recall that Hitler also used slave labor to make his economy look like a miracle. It was a sham too.

  14. If there was ever any doubt Putin was evil this ends that discussion.

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