North Korea faces international sanctions for its activities connected to the development of nuclear weapons. Therefore it should be facing economic constraints to pursue its cost intensive projects of nuclear weapons which is not evident. Its source of finance to undertake such major projects is shrouded in mystery but, reports have appeared in the media that could provide a clue to a probable way out of his predicament. It seems Kim Jong Un sends thousands of his citizens to Russia to work and earns hard currency in exchange. This is a form of human trafficking and is believed to be an option that he employs.

The speed at which the North Korean leader is proceeding with the testing of missiles coupled with his threats of launching a nuclear-tipped missile is a matter of concern for America. Kim claims that his missiles can strike the mainland of the United States and is a complication for the authorities. A probable solution could be to slap it with still more sanctions.

The scenario is grim

Fox News reports that there are more than 50,000 laborers from North Korea who work for a pittance in different projects in Russia. The total volume of money they remit back to Pyongyang every year is around $120 million. This has been brought to light by a Seoul-based organization that deals with Human Rights.

The workers are treated like slaves and the North Korean government takes back a major portion of their wages. It says something that many of these laborers do not hesitate to pay bribes to go to Russia because of the economic and political situation back home.

Exploiting the cheap labor is a method that the country employs to build its economy which is shattered by international sanctions.

It has very few items that it can export so it has decided to export labor. These people work in various projects like constructing a soccer stadium, or luxury apartment complex or even at logging camps and some of them die at work.

There is a need for more sanctions

The U.S. State Department has issued a report recently on human trafficking and has highlighted the plight of North Korean workers in Russia who are victims of exploitation with their human rights violated.

United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson feels that additional sanctions should be imposed and has suggested a few measures.

Some of these measures are to downgrade diplomatic relations, isolate the country financially, cut off trade dealings with it, expel guest workers, and ban imports from North Korea. Apart from Russia, other countries like China and Qatar also utilize the cheap labor and it amounts to human trafficking but, while sex trafficking is an immoral practice and attracts condemnation and penalties, the same has not happened in the case of human trafficking of North Koreans.