Moscow's approval of the flow of workers from North Korea leads to a situation where Pyongyang has constant cash inflows from Russia, which can reduce the effect of sanctions, The Wall Street Journal reported referring to US officials.
The Russian authorities are letting thousands of new workers from North Korea into the country, issuing work permits to them. According to US officials, this could violate the UN sanctions aimed at reducing the flow of money to Pyongyang in order to force the country to abandon nuclear weapons.
In September, the UN Security Council decided to ban countries from issuing new work permits to North Koreans, although some existing labor contracts were allowed to be extended. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal notes, following the introduction of this ban, more than 10,000 new workers from North Korea were registered in Russia. According to the Ministry of Labor of the Russian Federation, at least 700 new work permits have been issued this year to the North Koreans.
In particular, workers from North Korea have contributed to the construction boom in St. Petersburg. “They work till they drop,” one of the contractors, who hires North Koreans, told the reporter. They come to the construction site at 7 am and work there until 10 pm and later. All they need is two half-hour breaks to eat a bowl of rice with dried fish, he added.