ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print
N Korea at crossroads

Sanctions on North Korean migrant workers undermined by 'interns'

Pyongyang exploits alternative visa programs while China looks the other way

A performer sings at a North Korean-themed restaurant in Shenyang, China. North Korean laborers can skirt UN sanctions by applying for entertainment visas. (Photo by Tsukasa Hadano)

DALIAN, China -- Nations have until the end of December to expel migrant workers from North Korea, as dictated by United Nations sanctions, but China has essentially carved out a loophole by granting reams of visas normally reserved for interns or entertainers.

In Dandong, a city on China's side of the Yalu River, one trading house has decided to launch a staffing business that employs North Korean migrants. So far, an apparel maker and a seafood company have requested about 1,000 workers in total, the trader's chief said in late October.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more