November 13, 2019 12:13
China and Russia are surreptitiously sidestepping a UN Security Council ban on extending the work visas of North Korean laborers beyond Dec. 22.
Even though both are permanent members of the UNSC and have pledged to expel all North Korean laborers, they are secretly preparing to keep them on, thereby funneling hard currency to the North Korean regime.
One diplomatic source said Tuesday that one North Korean trading company that sells seafood products in the Chinese border city of Dandong now sends workers there on three-month tourist visas on rotation to bypass the ban.
North Koreans who work in China on tourist visas can extend them for another three months.
Until early this year, North Korean laborers at construction sites in China could only get permits allowing them to live there for a month, and any extension requests were denied. But once the U.S.-China trade war flared up in the second half of this year, Chinese authorities started looking the other way.
In Russia, meanwhile, a North Korean trading company that sent around 600 workers to the suburbs of Moscow and to Vladivostok is extending their stay on tourist and short-term visitor visas, according to a diplomatic source. Some North Korean workers in Vladivostok recently returned to the North, but many still remain by bending the rules.
Another ruse is to "park" them in the small Russian-backed former Soviet republic of Abkhazia, which is not a UN member, the Washington Post reported on Oct. 15.
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