Thousands of North Korean laborers are toiling in Qatar, building the country’s World Cup infrastructure, while their wages are used to fund the regime of Kim Jong-Un, new reports claim.
The conditions under which the laborers work have been compared to a modern day form of slavery, according to the Guardian, which notes that the North Koreans begin work at 6 a.m. and do not finish until midnight. Awarded the privilege of serving the dictator abroad, the workers must meet strict requirements, in order to minimize the threat of defection. Those requirements include having a wife and children at home in North Korea, having money to bribe officials, and showing loyalty to Kim Jong-Un’s political party, according to the Daily Mail.
— Yahoo Sports ME (@YahooSportsME) November 9, 2014
One of the North Korean workers reportedly said he was paid nothing for his labors, with all of his earnings sent home. He believed he would be reimbursed upon his return to North Korea. Choi Yunchul, a North Korean defector, observed that the method of compensation for overseas workers has changed over recent decades.
“In the early 90s, workers did receive their salary but it has been stopped since the mid-90s. The construction company that employed workers sent all the money directly to the North Korean government’s bank account.”
— DRP News Link (@DRPsynd) November 8, 2014
According to Aidan McQuade, director of Anti-Slavery International, the conditions under which the North Korean workers operate are akin to slave labor.
“It is simply a further dreadful indictment of the dictatorship in Pyongyang, which exploits the vulnerability of its citizens to enrich itself in collusion with the Qatari autocracy,” he asserted.
Earlier this week, North Korea released two American citizens who had been detained in the country. As the Inquisitr noted, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller were allowed to leave North Korea after U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper undertook a secret mission to Pyongyang, an unusual move for a senior level official.
Qatar’s construction of infrastructure capable of handling international events on the level of the World Cup has been plagued with scandal. Just last month, the country was forced to refute claims that money for British firms was siphoned off to aid ISIS extremists.
A spokesperson from the ministry of labor and social affairs asserted that 2,800 North Koreans are registered to work in Qatar, and that no complaints about their payment or treatment have been recorded.
[Image: Getty via the Daily Mail]