Russia says so long to North Korean workers, and thanks for all the construction 🇰🇵🇷🇺

13:56, 7 february 2018

Russia has started fulfilling a UN Security Council resolution passed last December to expel North Korean workers. Alexander Matsegora, Moscow’s ambassador to North Korea, says kicking out these migrant laborers will likely damage the economy in Russia’s Far East, where the majority of construction workers are from North Korea. In the Primorsky Krai region alone, Matsegora says, there are something like 12,000 North Korean migrant workers.

Can’t Russia just replace these people with Chinese laborers? No, says Ambassador Matsegora, who points out that the average wage in China is higher than it is in Russia, making it hard to entice Chinese laborers with lower pay and notoriously dangerous working conditions.

Every year, according to Ambassador Matsegora, Russia grants between 12,000 and 15,000 work visas to North Korean citizens, whose total numbers in Russia have peaked at 37,000. According to Russia’s Interior Ministry, the government granted almost 24,000 work visas to North Koreans in 2017.