North Korean workers under scrutiny in Qatar, Mongolia

SEOUL, July 8 (UPI) — North Korea‘s overseas labor force is a significant source of revenue but more countries are trying to ban Pyongyang’s state-sanctioned workers.

The Gulf state of Qatar has stepped up measures to restrict the flow of North Koreans into the country since the adoption of a North Korea sanctions resolution in March, Yonhap reported.

A South Korean government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Seoul is “working with Qatar on pressuring North Korea and limiting the issuance of new visas for North Korean workers.”

About 2,000 North Koreans work in Qatar, according to Yonhap.

The Qatari government, however, is to stop short of eliminating the issuance of visas for all North Korean workers, because the state doesn’t want to disrupt operations at local companies that employ North Korean labor.

In Mongolia, the treatment of North Korean workers is under scrutiny after the U.N.’s International Labor Organization raised concerns about their rights, The Wall Street Journal reported.

There is currently no new ban on the presence of forced labor within Mongolia’s borders, but according to The Journal more than 1,000 North Koreans are working in factories, construction sites, restaurants and medical clinics.

The labor is in demand, according to one broker for construction firms in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar.

North Koreans are inexpensive employees and earn about $700 monthly, but receive only $150-200 after donating the rest to the Kim Jong Un regime.

Some are even experiencing a cut in pay. One North Korean who has been in Mongolia since 2011 said his pay was reduced although he works 12 to 14 hours daily.

The worker said he has been unable to send funds to his wife and daughter in Pyongyang.

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