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North Korean Slave Labor In Russia

“Conditions inside North Korea were so bad that in some cases they had bribed officials there to be given a chance to come work in these logging camps. It brought them a step closer to the free world. But defecting was horribly dangerous. North Korean agents would hunt them. The penalty, if caught, could be death.” – North Korean lumberjack who had fled a slave camp in an interview with Claudia Rosett, “Evil As Usual”.

Russia supplies the equipment and the forests and North Korea supplies and supervises the lumberjacks. This has been happening for years and nothing has been done about it. It’s not even mentioned in the mainstream media. Why not? Because it’s North Korea and nobody cares about those communists? That’s an ignorant way of thinking. These are people who are, one way or another, forced to leave their home to go live out in the middle of nowhere, Russia to lodge in rough terrain where during the long winters the temperature dives far below zero. Even the people who want to go and aren’t being punished are working without pay and are living in an enclosed camp without the freedom of leaving. Those who wanted to come, came with one thing on their mind: escaping.

Journalist Shane Smith actually infiltrated one of these camps and spoke to a few of the North Koreans enslaved there. Remarkably, some people didn’t even know they weren’t in North Korea! They had no idea they were in the middle of Siberia surrounded by miles and miles of dense forest. North Korea is very poor and, despite their denial, have almost no food to feed their people. Some of the lumberjacks that were spoken to were so brainwashed that they believe that they are there for the better of their Motherland. They’re there to help generate money and food for the rest of North Korea.

To recruit lumberjacks, the Pyongyang authorities dangle the possibility of riches in foreign currency. The workers can sign contracts for three years or more in Russia. North Korea’s economic crisis is such that there is no shortage of takers. All are party members and carefully vetted. “To come to Russia, there are a number of requirements,” one said. “You have to be in good physical condition. You have to have references from party officials. Only married men with families are allowed to come.” Many will do anything to get the job: “My health was bad, so I had to pay money to be selected.”

Lumberjacks are not allowed to seek treatment in Russian hospitals: the camps are self-contained and contact with outside is forbidden. They are cut off from neighboring villages. There are six companies, employing around 3,000 North Koreans. “Instead of a salary, I received coupons, they’d told me I’d be able to exchange them, but I’ve never been able to buy anything with them. I used to send them back to my family at home. But workers who went back to Korea told me that the shops where you were supposed to be able to exchange the coupons were always empty.”

Kim Jong-il has been selling people for money for many years and nothing has been done about it. He’s tricking his own people into being slaves and profiting off them. Even if we don’t support North Korea we should take a stand against slavery, everywhere, all the time.

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About TheTaoOfD
Truth Seeker. Truth Spreader.

3 Responses to North Korean Slave Labor In Russia

  1. Pingback: This Can’t Be Real! ….It’s Real: North Korea Mourns Kim Jong Il « Zazen Life

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