Russia and North Korea are now both in the middle of a political fire after claims of their involvement in labor trade links them to “crime against humanity.” However, this appears contradicting to what Moscow recently did, warning North Korea of its continued nuclear threats.
North Korea and Russia are two isolated regimes but a new report says that the two countries have been working with each other specifically in trading labor. Critics now say that such activities can be considered ultimately as state-sponsored human trafficking.
A new report from Sydney Morning Herald, say that North Korea has been earning hard currency by supplying Russia with workers for its logging and building industries. The terms are under a bilateral deal. Likewise, missile testing and other tensions with other political powers have shunned both countries but not without the trade growing throughout the years.
United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea, Marzuki Darusman, protested against the treaty. “In fact,” said the official, “the practice of sending workers abroad to be exploited may constitute state-sponsored enslavement of human beings, possibly amounting to a specific category of crime against humanity.”
As the Sydney Morning Herald noted, Russian tycoons are keen to choose North Korean workers because they can always get their visas. Professor Alexander Latkin, of Vladivostok University explained that North Koreans are perceived as the best foreign workers in Russia. North Koreans are willing to work from morning until night. They do not ask for high payment, nor demand food and ask for good living conditions. The professor said that taking advantage of this willingness to work under unacceptable condition is “form of slavery.”
Whatever alliance that Russia and North Korea have is sending mix signals among the international community. Just recently, Moscow condemned Pyongyang for its nuclear war threats against the United States and South Korea. “We consider it to be absolutely impermissible to make public statements containing threats to deliver some ‘preventive nuclear strikes’ against opponents,” The Guardian quoted Russian foreign ministry in a statement. “Pyongyang should be aware of the fact that in this way the DPRK will become fully opposed to the international community and will create international legal grounds for using military force against itself in accordance with the right of a state to self-defense enshrined in the United Nations Charter,” the statement went on.