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HomeMongolia NewsExploring Mongolia for traces of North Korean laborers

Exploring Mongolia for traces of North Korean laborers

The hills of Mongolia (Bernd Thaller, Flickr, Creative Commons)

A week ago, I went on a trip to Mongolia. The country was more vibrant than ever, as if the pandemic was already well in the past. The impetus for this particular trip was Dr. Yeosang Yoon and his team’s research on the lives and human rights situation of overseas North Korean workers, which was published by the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB) back in 2016. Between sanctions against North Korea and the pandemic, I naturally wanted to get out in the field and investigate how the North Korean workers dispatched to Mongolia were faring. Ultimately, I found that due to sanctions there were no North Korean workers officially staying in Mongolia.

North Korean labor in Mongolia can be broadly divided into three types. First, there are those working and running North Korean restaurants, much like the kinds operated in China, Russia, and…

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