Unlike Iran, North Korea has "no interest at all" in a deal with the United States over giving up its nuclear capabilities.
Despite Western trade sanctions and the ongoing drought wreaking havoc on its fragile economy, the Hermit Kingdom is still determined to go on with it's nuclear program because it has found a horrendously convenient way to garner funding: human trafficking.
Latest reports claim North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un has doubled the “export” of the foreign labor to fund his construction projects and Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
“North Koreans now toil in 40 countries. Some work in mines in Mongolia, others in Chinese textile factories, many more on construction projects in the Middle East,” according to ABC.
"Since Kim Jong-un came to power, slave labor has exploded," said Myeong Chul Ahn, executive director of North Korean Watch, a rights group based in Seoul. "We estimate there are about 90,000 and that brings roughly $US2 billion a year to the regime."
ABC quoted Rim Il, a North Korean man who was forced to work in Kuwait as a carpenter and later defected to the South, as saying: "[Initially] there was plenty of rice and even soup with meat. In North Korea this was unimaginable.”
"Looking back I can [see] we were treated like beasts, not human beings; we basically weren't human," he added.
The news come almost four months after the United Nations announced an investigation into claims that an estimated 20,000 North Korean citizens have been shipped around the world to work as slave laborers – including constructing the 2022 World Cup stadiums in Qatar – to “acquire foreign currency.”
According to a report in the Guardian last year, North Korean workers building World Cup facilities in Qatar receive as little as 10 percent of their salaries when they go home and some don’t even get that amount.
"People like us don’t usually get paid. The money does not come to the person directly," a North Korean laborer toiling away in the Arab country said. "It’s nothing to do with me, it’s the [North Korean recruitment] company’s business.”
Apart from the Middle East, North Korean workers are trafficked to mines in Mongolia as well as Chinese textile factories. Currently, Russia now houses around 25,000 North Korean workers.