As bad as it may seem for the North Korean workers in the Russian far east it would be worse for them if they were in North Korea
Two North Koreans interviewed at an apartment renovation project here said their unit leader told them they must earn a minimum of $400 a month (close to the local minimum wage), which for most means moonlighting at private jobs. They are allowed to keep $100. This money, the men said, they either send home to their families or carry back on their yearly vacations. Although they often work 16-hour days, sleeping in apartments they are renovating, they said they considered themselves lucky to be working in Russia and hoped to renew their contracts.
North Korea first started supplying laborers to Russia during the Soviet era. The most curious thing about the continuation of the arrangement now is that Russia is becoming suffiiciently capitalistic that the North Korean workers are getting a view into the larger outside capitalistic world. One can only wonder what they think of what they see and hear.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 May 21 01:25 AM Korea|