NewsChina demands North Korean workers return, income hit for Kim's regime

China demands North Korean workers return, income hit for Kim's regime

China demanded that North Korean authorities take back all their citizens working in China.
China demanded that North Korean authorities take back all their citizens working in China.
Images source: © Getty Images | 2024 Getty Images

7:59 AM EDT, July 10, 2024

China has demanded that North Korean authorities take back all of their citizens working in China, reported the South Korean agency Yonhap, citing anonymous sources. This decision means a reduction in the income of Kim Jong Un's regime.

While the North Korean authorities wanted to withdraw their citizens gradually, Beijing demanded that Pyongyang take back all workers whose visas are expiring, claims an anonymous Yonhap source.

The agency notes that China is seen as the main "cash cow" for the North Korean regime, which is struggling to obtain foreign currency due to international sanctions.

The UN Security Council obligated all member states in 2017 to send back North Korean workers by the end of 2019 to cut off the regime from hard currency income. However, it is estimated that tens of thousands, and perhaps even hundreds of thousands, of such individuals remain in China and Russia.

North Korea's dispatch of its workers abroad and its smuggling of coal and oil via ship-to-ship transfer are illegal activities that violate the UNSC resolutions, said an anonymous South Korean foreign ministry official.

He added that as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, our country calls on all UN member states to fully implement Security Council resolutions.

Tightened customs checks on exports

According to a Yonhap source, China, "North Korea's main ally and economic benefactor," has also tightened customs checks on exports to the country and intensified anti-smuggling efforts.

Yonhap, citing analysts, adds that China may be trying to increase its influence on North Korea when the country is strengthening military cooperation with Russia.

Asked to comment on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian said he had " not heard about this," adding that "China and the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) have always maintained their traditional friendship and cooperation, and their party and state leaders frequently contact."

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