June 03, 2016 10:28
The latest defections by North Koreans working in restaurants in China has led to even more stringent monitoring of North Korean laborers abroad and resulted in fewer workers going overseas to earn money for the regime.
A source who traveled to Russia recently said, "North Korean laborers used to show up in certain spots in Vladivostok every morning looking for work, but they all disappeared" after 13 North Korean workers defected to South Korea in early April.
An estimated 20,000 North Koreans labor in logging camps in Russia. The regime in Pyongyang has relied on their remittances, but since the recent defections its primary focus seems to have shifted from making money to clamping down on defections, according to the source.
North Korean traders, who used to travel with relative freedom overseas, now apparently face stringent curbs on their movements.
Meanwhile, a woman who had been working in a North Korean restaurant in Southeast Asia also apparently defected to South Korea early this year.
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