SEOUL, July 7 (UPI) — North Korea keeps surveillance of its forced laborers in China through a tightly monitored network, according to a report.
A source on North Korea in China told Radio Free Asia surveillance has been “enhanced” and the system consists of North Korean workers monitoring each other.
In groups of five, North Korean workers mutually watch each other’s movements.
The worker held responsible for overseeing the management of the group is called “chief,” and two “assistant managers” report to him or her, the source added.
Each group’s surveillance duties crisscross into other groups. Group chiefs monitor each other, and they are expected to report on the other groups once a day, or once every two days.
Another source told RFA the “mutual monitoring configuration” is similar to those operating in North Korea.
Each work unit chief knows who is the target of their surveillance, but does not know who is watching them, the source said.
Surveillance has increased since 13 North Korean restaurant workers fled a location in China in April, and another small group of North Korean waitresses fled a state-run restaurant in May.
North Korean overseas workers are under heavy pressure from the Kim Jong Un regime to fill income quotas.
If restaurants do not earn enough income, North Korean security agents come to warn the workers and they cannot avoid penalties once they are repatriated to North Korea, according to South Korean press reports.
Other workers, including forced laborers at construction sites, face dangerous conditions and receive little to no pay.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is under unprecedented U.S. sanctions for human rights abuses.