Inside sources have reported that a group of North Korean workers employed by a factory in China’s Longjing City, Kaisantun, were given orders to return home in the middle of October. “A pharmaceutical factory (name redacted for the source’s protection) in Kaisantun that employed over 70 North Korean laborers sent them all home about 15 days ago. Although they hadn’t even been here for a year, their contracts were cancelled in the middle of their term and they returned to North Korea”, a local Chinese source reported to Daily NK on November 2. Daily NK reported in September that the Chinese authorities were pressuring factories in Dandong City to cancel their employment contracts with North Korean workers. “If the authorities are sending back North Korean workers from Kaisantun, they will likely do the same in Tumen and Hunchun”, the source added. Another local source told Daily NK that in the beginning of October, about 30 North Korean laborers were spotted shopping in the markets of Yanji. “Usually,” he said, “the laborers travel in groups of ten at the most, so seeing this many together was a first. They bought a large number of products and then weren’t seen in the markets for some time. I asked about this, and found out that they had all returned to North Korea”. Although the conditions are difficult and dangerous, working overseas has been attractive to North Korean workers wanting to send money home. But the North Korean regime’s pursuit of missile and nuclear weapons development has made this more difficult. “Many of these workers paid a bribe to get the chance to work overseas and earn money; it’s unfortunate that they won’t be able to earn as much as they hoped”, the second source concluded.
The official media of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) today called on the international