2

North Korea is determined to forge ahead with its Nuclear Weapons program in spite of global condemnation. The United Nations has imposed sanctions to ensure that North Korea faces economic hurdles in pursuing its nuclear program. However, the country continues to develop its missiles, and this is indirectly funded by the United States.

Americans love seafood, and much of the stuff available on the shelves today are packed by laborers of North Korea employed in the packaging industry in China. Obviously, there is the inevitable link with Kim’s regime and, when Americans buy the tinned seafood, they extend an indirect support to the nuclear programs of Kim Jong Un.

Nuclear programs of Pyongyang

USA Today reports that North Korea is not cowed down by sanctions. It has evolved alternate strategies to sidestep the bans and add to its coffers. It is not supposed to have trade links with other countries, and it has circumvented that hurdle. The country is believed to be generating around $200 million to $500 million every year through remittances from its laborers who work abroad. According to estimates of South Korea, a major portion of such funds is earmarked by Pyongyang for its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

Chinese factories employ workers of North Korea who have to remit a large portion of their earnings back to their homeland. This goes to finance the ambitious plans of the government of Kim Jong Un. There are North Korean workers in other countries like Canada, Germany and elsewhere in the European Union, and some of the products they make land up in the United States.

Seafood is one of these items.

Seafood packaged by Kim’s workers

There is a ban on trade with North Korea as per the sanctions, and American companies cannot import products made by Pyongyang’s workers anywhere in the world. Those who violate this can face criminal charges. However, there are records to show that large quantities of seafood have entered the United States in the recent past. These were packaged by North Korean workers employed in China and were shipped to destinations in Canada and the U.S.

Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer feels that the Trump administration should take up the matter with China and ensure that it does not employ North Korean workers. Simultaneously, the U.S. must maintain a distance from such products. Activities of this nature would mean extending indirect support to Kim for his programs connected to nuclear weapons. He relies on the remittances from his workers employed abroad, and if that source of revenue is plugged, it could pay dividends.