October 27, 2023

North Korean Forced Labor in the U.S. Seafood Supply Chain

By Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive Director

October 27, 2023

Note: On October 24, 2023, HRNK Executive Director Greg Scarlatoiu was invited to testify before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) for a hearing on the subject of forced labor in the U.S. seafood supply chain. The following text reflects his remarks during the hearing, as prepared for delivery. The full text of his written submission to the CECC can be viewed at this link.

Chairman Smith, Chairman Merkley, distinguished Commissioners, I wish to begin by thanking you for inviting me to testify today. The official dispatch of North Korean workers to China’s seafood processing plants is a breach of applicable UN Security Council Sanctions, international human rights instruments, and most importantly of the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Mindful of CAATSA provisions relating to Sanctions for Forced Labor and Slavery Overseas of North Koreans, HRNK has made a preliminary determination as to whether the working conditions these workers face are subject to Section 302(b) of the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 (22 U.S.C. 9241 (b)). We further endeavored to identify Chinese entities that employ North Korean laborers, with the aim of determining if such entities and individuals in charge meet the criteria under Section 111 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7108). 
Until their repatriation began on August 23 or August 29, there were thousands of North Korean workers officially dispatched to Chinese seafood processing factories. In many cases, these workers processed seafood imported from North Korea. The importation of seafood processed by North Korean workers in China, seafood exported from North Korea to China, or a combination of both, into the United States would constitute a blatant violation of CAATSA.
Three major seafood processing companies have historically employed North Korean labor and have exported their products to the United States.[1] Witnesses mentioned the presence of at least three seafood processing factories that employ North Korean workers in Donggang (東港), Dandong City.
Have Chinese Factories Processed Seafood Imported from North Korea?
North Korean seafood exported to China from Najin Port is primarily transported overland by vehicles, through Chinese customs.[2] It is then distributed and sold in China's Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, Liaoning Province, or flown to inland cities including Beijing. Seafood processed in Hunchun is exported as frozen or dried seafood to the United States, Europe, Japan, and other countries.[3] The main North Korean seafood products transported inland in this manner include various species of squid, croaker, snow crab, hair crab, and blue crab.[4] 
North Korean workers process fish caught seasonally, such as cod and pollock as well as clam during clam season. They also process octopus and shellfish, packaged as Chinese export products. There are reported instances of processed seafood marked “Made in China” being shipped out to Vladivostok, where labels are switched to “Made in Russia” and exported to third countries.
North Korean Workers in Chinese Seafood Processing Plants: 
International Legal Implications
The employment of North Korean workers in Chinese seafood processing plants and labor standards violations may contravene the ILO’s Forced Labor Convention (No. 29) and the Abolition of Forced Labor Convention (No. 105), other ILO conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (also known as the Palermo Protocol).
The North Korean seafood processing workers face:
1.  Inhumane Working Conditions: Long working hours, denial of proper rest and breaks, harsh treatment, and minimal safety measures, posing a risk to their physical and mental well-being.
2.  Lack of Freedom and Communication: They are often isolated, facing limited contact with the outside world and their families. They are unable to exercise their right to freedom of movement and communication. 
3.  Absence of Labor Rights: Such rights, including the right to unionize and engage in collective bargaining, are nonexistent.
Living and Working Conditions for North Korean Overseas Workers
North Korean workers covet overseas positions, as the average monthly remittance of $70 (500 Chinese yuan) is dramatically higher than the $3-dollar average monthly industrial wage in North Korea.[5] The average bribe paid to be dispatched overseas is $2,000 - $3,000. The workers must borrow the funds from money lenders and pay it back with interest.[6] The workers are lured with false promises and subsequently entrapped under abysmal working conditions.
Wage violations through compulsory “contributions” extracted by the North Korean authorities, unpaid overtime, precarious safety, and health conditions are widespread. 
The workers must moonlight for other companies to pay back their loans, with the approval of three site supervisors (party, security agency, technical manager), who must also be bribed. Including moonlighting, a North Korean seafood processing worker in China may make up to about $210 a month. (1,500 Chinese yuan).
The North Korean workers' monthly wages are paid upon their repatriation, in North Korean currency, at the official exchange rate. 
During the COVID-19 quarantine, the workers received no wages, and the interest on loans increased, reportedly leading to about thirty suicides, most of them women.
The Chinese companies pay the North Korean regime mostly based on production volume. The payment is made in Chinese currency. 
Men mainly carry frozen fish blocks, and women sit down and peel fish or squid or sort clams and crabs by size. Most of the North Koreans work the whole day in cold storage. Additionally, the pungent smell inside is unbearable. 
North Korean workers at the Chinese seafood processing plants usually work about 10 hours a day. If production targets are not met, the workday can extend to over 12 hours. 
The witness respectfully recommends the following:

Continue to encourage civil society groups with relevant networks to continue investigating conditions of work at Chinese seafood processing factories and whether products processed by North Koreans may end up on the U.S. market.

Propose that new findings on violations affecting North Koreans at such factories be included in the Annual Report on Trafficking in Persons, required under Section 110(B) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 707(B)).

Seek to determine whether the government of China has made any serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons, as they relate to the official dispatching of North Korean workers to Chinese seafood processing plants.

Seek to confirm whether seafood exported from China to the United States contains North Korean seafood products, and whether North Korean workers officially dispatched to China processed seafood exported from China to the United States. If confirmed, such products would have to be denied entry at any of the U.S. ports, pursuant to a prohibition under Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1307).

The witness wishes to thank HRNK team members Ingyu Choe, Mohona Ganguly, Doohyun (Jake) Kim, and Damian Reddy, as well as Jung Gwang-il, Ko Young-hwan, Lee Hyun-seung and Ri Jong-ho for their invaluable contributions to research, translation, direct testimony, and securing testimony by key witnesses in China and North Korea.

[1] Tim Sullivan, Martha Mendoza, and Hyung-Jin Kim, “NKorean Workers Prep Seafood Going to US Stores, Restaurants,” AP News, August 21, 2021. https://apnews.com/article/sports-middle-east-canada-europe-global-trade-8b493b7df6e147e98d19f3abb5ca090a.
[2] Baek Seong-ho, “North Korea’s Seafood Production and Exports” [in Korean], KITA Inter-Korean Trade Report vol. 7 (2020). https://www.kita.net/cmmrcInfo/internationalTradeStudies/researchReport/northKoreaTradeReportDetail.do?pageIndex=1&no=13&classification=19&searchReqType=detail&pcRadio=19&searchClassification=19&searchStartDate=&searchEndDate=&searchCondition=CONTENT&searchKeyword=&continent_nm=&continent_cd=&country_nm=&country_cd=&sector_nm=&sector_cd=&itemCd_nm=&itemCd_cd=&searchOpenYn=.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Interview with North Korean escapee, October 8, 2023.
[6] Interview with North Korean escapee, October 9, 2023.

October 13, 2023

A Window of Opportunity: Addressing the Human Rights-Security Nexus in North Korea

By Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive Director

October 13, 2023

Photo Credit: travelview - stock.adobe.com

The following essay is adapted from virtual remarks delivered to an event hosted by HRNK Canada in Ottawa on September 28, 2023. The text has been updated to reflect recent developments. 

I gained an interest in North Korean human rights because I was born and raised in communist Romania, the one communist country in Eastern Europe that was closest to North Korea. Nicolae Ceaușescu and Kim Il-sung were very close friends as well. I was on the streets in December 1989 when the Ceaușescu regime fell. I was 19 years old and a first-year student at Bucharest University majoring in English language and literature. More than a thousand of my peers, members of the same generation, died in the streets. I was old enough to be a part of that.
I then took exams for overseas scholarships and became the first Romanian ever to study in South Korea. I went to South Korea and received one year of language training, as well as a BA and MA, from Seoul National University. I worked in media broadcasting in South Korea for a few years. Then, I went to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, and in 2002 I relocated with my family to Washington, D.C., where I worked in international development for six years. After working at the Korea Economic Institute for three years, I have been executive director of the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) since July 2011.
This is a very personal issue to me. Ceaușescu wanted to turn Romania into the North Korea of Eastern Europe. Then I spent ten years on a divided Korean Peninsula while studying, working, and living in South Korea. Initially, I thought like many others that North Korea would collapse because communism had collapsed in so many other places, in Eastern Europe in particular. But then during the days of the Great Famine, the days of the gonan-ui haenggun (Arduous March), I came to the realization that this was an entirely different situation. That is when I acquired this interest in North Korean human rights, which was almost 30 years ago.

North Korean Human Rights: An Overview
North Korea is a party to multiple international instruments: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as a UN member state; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. North Korea has a constitution that includes, amazingly, human rights as well, including freedom of religion and freedom of expression. And yet, each and every human right is violated in North Korea.
The worst human rights violations happen at North Korea’s detention facilities, including its kwan-li-so political prison camps, kyo-hwa-so reeducation-through-labor camps, and also at short-term detention facilities. If they are short-term, it does not mean that human rights violations do not happen there. We conducted a study with the International Bar Association and a law firm, Debevoise & Plimpton, on short-term detention facilities. This investigation concluded that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that crimes against humanity are occurring at short-term detention facilities also. Egregious human rights violations, especially perpetrated against women forcibly repatriated from China, happen at these facilities.
We have identified several trends under Kim Jong-un through satellite imagery analysis and North Korean escapee testimony. Number one, some detention facilities that were close to the border with China have been shut down and detainees were moved inland. Detention facilities inland have expanded. Camp 25 is one such example. Second, women have taken the brunt of human rights abuse. During and after the Arduous March, the gonan-ui haenggun, women assumed primary responsibility for the survival of their families. They are the ones who go to the jangmadang, the market; the nongmin sijang, the farmers’ market; or the amsijang, the black market. They are the main market agents. They are the ones who are arrested and punished, sometimes tortured or imprisoned, for perceived wrongdoing at the markets.
Women also often cross the border into China without official approval. The goal is to end up in a third country and then in South Korea or other countries. They are in search of economic opportunity. We have a serious problem with China when it comes to North Korean refugees. China is a party to the 1951 Convention Concerning the Status of Refugees and the 1967 additional protocol. These North Korean refugees in China, eighty percent of whom are women, are returned to North Korea, where they are tortured, imprisoned, and sometimes killed. We have had terrible reports of forced abortions performed on women with children of Chinese men—infanticide. People of religious faith are particularly in danger. 
According to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, if individuals return to a place where they face a credible fear of persecution, they qualify to have access to the process leading to acquiring political refugee status. There are at least 2,000 North Korean refugees in detention in China awaiting forcible repatriation now that North Korea is gradually opening its borders post-COVID, and there are reports from reliable sources that some of these refugees may already have been sent back to North Korea. There are many human rights groups that are doing their best to prevent the forcible repatriation of North Korean refugees.

The Human Rights-Security Nexus
The February 2014 report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights in North Korea recommended the referral of the North Korean regime and its leadership to the International Criminal Court (ICC). North Korea is not a party to the 2002 Rome Statute that established the ICC, so it would take a referral by the UN Security Council.
The UN Security Council is deeply divided. There are the status quo powers amongst the five permanent (P5) members of the Security Council: the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. On the other hand, there are the revisionist powers, Russia and China. We all know the abomination of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the tremendous human suffering that this invasion has caused in Ukraine. A veto by a P5 member can block the referral, and it is practically certain that China or Russia would veto the referral of the North Korean case to the ICC.
If we look at recent history, there have been special tribunals such as the ICTY—the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Rwanda was another precedent. In each case, it required a resolution of the UN Security Council. Even if it is difficult, it does not mean we should give up. We should press for the referral. Every time China vetoes an attempt to refer Kim Jong-un to the ICC, it paints itself into a corner as a P5 member that aids and abets a regime that commits crimes against humanity. I think that the role of civil society is very important here. Civil society is very creative. Many of us have tried a lot of different ways and means, including mock trials. I think eventually that creative solutions will come from civil society.
North Korea’s human rights violations and crimes against humanity threaten international peace and security. There is a clear security-human rights nexus. Why? For two main reasons. Reason number one: the North Korean regime oppresses and exploits its own people at home and abroad to procure the resources it needs to develop its nuclear program. Reason number two: what the United States, Canada, and the international community want is CVID—complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization. How can one have CVID if there is no access to the political prison camps? One camp in particular comes to mind. Camp 16 is very close to the nuclear test facilities at Punggye-ri. We are just about to publish a very interesting report that establishes a connection between the two facilities.
North Korean human rights violations threaten international peace and security because they are instrumentalized by the Kim regime to procure the resources it needs to develop its nuclear program. Since the regime does not admit to the existence of these camps, there is also the possibility of concealing equipment, for example. CVID is impossible without access to the political prison camps.

The North Korean Human Rights Act in the United States
We have a problem with the North Korean Human Rights Act in the United States. It has not been reauthorized yet. S. 4216 was introduced by Congresswoman Young Kim on the House side and by Senator Marco Rubio on the Senate side. It has not passed so far, and it is very unlikely that it will pass by the end of this month. The new reauthorized version would authorize the appropriation of $10 million each year. Initially, it was from 2023 to 2027. We hope the reauthorization will pass. It will probably be 2024 to 2028, $10 million each year for ongoing programs managed by the U.S. State Department, USAID, and the U.S. Agency for Global Media to improve access to information in North Korea, to promote democracy and human rights, and provide humanitarian assistance to North Korean refugees.
What is my assessment of the bill so far? In terms of documentation of North Korean human rights abuses supported by the U.S. State Department—the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in particular—and the National Endowment for Democracy, the record is positive. We know much more about the North Korean human rights situation through the efforts of such agencies and organizations.
In the information field, there are groups that have been quite successful. There is a North Korean information firewall. Eventually, that information firewall will fall. Things were very difficult under COVID. North Korea cracked down very hard on information coming in from the outside world, those attempting to distribute such information, and those attempting to access such information. It is a difficult environment, and now we have a gradual opening of the border. We will see what impact that has on information.
In terms of the refugee element, we have not done too well. The number of North Korean refugees that have resettled in the United States after requesting asylum is very low, just about 240. There are many factors behind this. The U.S. debriefing process takes longer than the South Korean debriefing process. On the other hand, throughout their lives, they have been taught that the United States is the greatest enemy of Korea, and it is very difficult to get over this psychological obstacle.
In South Korea, the same language is spoken, and there are resettlement allowances and vocational training. The system is not perfect, but the people and the government have tried hard to assist North Korean refugees. Many of them have had trouble. It is a very different society, after all. This tells us that there is a need for information enhancing the understanding of the United States and what the United States stands for as we approach North Korean refugees who are in transit in third countries.

The North Korean Human Rights Act in South Korea
South Korea has enacted a North Korean Human Rights Act of its own, but it has not been fully implemented. The problem is with the Human Rights Foundation because of disagreement between the two sides of the aisle. This foundation has not become operational yet. To deal with this issue, the previous unification minister, Minister Kwon Young-se, established a Human Rights Promotion Committee with fifteen outstanding individuals with expertise in North Korean human rights.
There is disagreement over the board membership of the foundation. This is the fundamental issue. According to the law, the unification minister is tasked with nominating two candidates for the board of directors. The ruling party and the opposition parties are charged with nominating five candidates each. Due to disagreement between the two main political parties, no one has been appointed to the foundation’s inaugural board in the past seven years.
If you ask me whether there will be some movement and positive change here, the elections next April will likely be a decisive factor in the operation of the Human Rights Foundation. The unfortunate thing is that human rights is being politicized. Human rights in general and human rights in North Korea should not be politicized in democratic countries, such as the United States, Canada, or South Korea.

Human Rights Up Front: A Window of Opportunity
Canada has been a great champion of human rights in general and human rights in North Korea in particular. I think that the establishment of a Canadian special envoy for North Korean human rights would be a very important step. Coordination will be very important moving ahead. There could be political shifts in South Korea a couple of years from now, so we have a very narrow window of opportunity to coordinate on and address North Korean human rights.
President Joe Biden, President Yoon Suk-yeol, and Prime Minister Kishida had a very good meeting at Camp David. They mentioned human rights, but it is not necessarily an area where there is a coherent strategy. The promoters of North Korean human rights on the international scene and at the UN—the United States, South Korea, the European Union, Canada, and Japan—can definitely achieve even better coordination if Canada passes a North Korean human rights act, and in particular if it creates a special envoy position.
The United States passed a North Korean Human Rights Act in 2004, and others—including South Korea—have passed such acts also. Human rights violations in North Korea will continue unless these laws become part of a coherent “human rights up front” policy that elevates human rights to a position comparable to that of political, security, and military issues. For more than 30 years, human rights has been sacrificed on the altar of political, military, and security issues. As I mentioned earlier, there is a clear security-human rights nexus when it comes to North Korea. Without addressing human rights, it is impossible to resolve the security issues.

August 28, 2023

And the Truth Shall Set You Free

By Nick Miller

August 28, 2023

Nick Miller is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Edinburgh. His doctoral work examines how the U.S. Intelligence Community analyzed North Korean and Chinese politics during the Cold War. He previously served as a defense analyst for the U.S. Air Force, managing a variety of East Asian security issues.

As the war in Ukraine drags on, the United States has stated that Russia has been looking for resources from North Korea, including weapons and ammunition, in return for providing food and commodities to Pyongyang. While the food situation is reportedly at its worst since Kim Jong-un came to power, there have not been clear signs of a serious famine.[1]


The Biden administration’s policy of openly disseminating intelligence to U.S. allies and the public regarding the war in Ukraine should be maintained to keep everyone aware of the atrocities occurring in Ukraine. This also helps shine a much-needed light on the actions that the North Korean regime continues to take to support Russia, thus violating numerous UN sanctions that have already been imposed.




In March, the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against a Slovakian individual who was attempting to broker arms deals between Russia and North Korea in exchange for new commercial aircraft and raw materials, for the purpose of replacing weapons and munitions spent in Ukraine.[2] From November to December 2022, the United States exposed how North Korea has been covertly funneling weapons via the Middle East and Africa to support Russia.[3],[4] North Korean state media, KCNA, stated that it had “never exported weapons or ammunitions to Russia” and did not plan to export any, according to an unnamed vice director general of the General Bureau of Equipment in the Ministry of National Defense.[5] Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, also dismissed the reports.[6]




There have been reports that North Korea is potentially sending construction workers to Russian-occupied Eastern Ukraine. While this reporting is doubted by some experts, this step would further strengthen Russian-North Korean ties, which have languished after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Lim Soo-ho of South Korea’s Institute for National Security Strategy stated that Russia had utilized North Korean constructions workers in the past due to their low cost. It is also a common strategy for North Korea to export its labor as a way for the regime to generate hard currency, but this activity was targeted in 2017 under UN Security Resolution 2397. Workers were estimated to provide between $200-500 million a year for the North Korean regime. Only a small portion is ever seen by the individual workers, who are under the scrutiny of the Ministry of State Security.[7]  


According to an October 2021 Daily NK report, North Korea prepared to finalize the selection of 800-1,000 workers to the Donbas region in November. An unnamed source stated that North Korea, China, and Russia had agreed that sending North Korean workers did not violate existing sanctions.[8] There have been unconfirmed reports that the move was delayed due to not wanting to send people to a “danger zone.”[9]


What is to be done and adapted for future use? 


Intelligence assessments are almost always kept classified, but the Biden administration has publicly disclosed them to spotlight and shame Russia. It quickly declassified and disseminated intelligence to key allies to highlight a range of issues, including Iranian arms support to Russia and atrocities committed by the Wagner Group. A similar policy should be adapted and utilized as a future tool of U.S. statecraft with respect to North Korea.[10] 


Even after the War in Ukraine reaches a conclusion, this strategy needs to continue and be adapted by future administrations to assist the North Korean people, with the goal of weakening the figures and bureaucratic structures that enable the oppression of the North Korean people. 


Some areas that the Biden administration could investigate include:


Prison Labor Complex. This includes the networks that enable the construction and operation of prison camps, as well as the distribution and export of items produced at these camps. Such networks could be targeted through sanctions by the United States, its allies, and the United Nations.


Food Security. While North Korea has not experienced a second “Arduous March,” it is reportedly experiencing a serious food shortage. Any food that is secured by the regime from the outside world will not go to the people who need it most, but rather, most likely, to elites and the Korean People’s Army.[11] If and when food aid is sent to North Korea, any diversion of this aid could be disclosed in the same way that North Korea’s ship-to-ship fuel transfers have been reported.


Oil Shipments. While China has denied facilitating North Korean oil shipments, China is still a core facilitator for the weakening of UN sanction enforcement and the current sanctions have not ended North Korea’s ability to finance and advance its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.[12], [13] According to Cho Bong-hyun of IBK Bank in Seoul, the targeting of oil supplies could paralyze the North Korean economy. However, the biggest obstacle to a full-on oil embargo is China’s veto power in the UN Security Council, since China does not want to manage the impact of a North Korean collapse on its border.[14], [15] In an 2020 annual report to the UN Security Council, it was noted that China’s shipping industry was instrumental in facilitating the coal and oil trade by North Korea in “defiance of UN sanctions.”[16]


While China continues to facilitate North Korean trade and weaken sanctions enforcement, the United States must take a tougher stance on China. China’s continued support ensures the Kim family’s security and continued control over the country. Severing that resource will be essential in creating meaningful change, as it deprives the regime of the means to fuel its weapons programs.



Focusing on these three issues will erode the North Korean regime’s ability to obtain and utilize resources at the expense of the people. By adapting the Ukrainian plan to North Korea, the United States can expose Pyongyang’s actions and counter its assertions. Truth must be told through information campaigns aimed at the people of North Korea. It is critical to push back against disinformation campaigns that come out of North Korea or China. By exposing Pyongyang’s policies and practices and the individuals responsible for implementing them, the United States and its allies can help bring a brighter future for the North Korean people. 

[1] “U.S. says Russia looking to North Korea for weapons needed for Ukraine War,” Associated Press, March 30, 2023. https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/us-russia-north-korea-ukraine-food-weapons-1.6796215 

[2] U.S. Department of the Treasury, “Treasury Sanctions Facilitator for Attempted Arms Deals Between North Korea and Russia,” March 30, 2023. https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1377.

[3] David Brunnstrom and Idrees Ali, “White House Says North Korea supplying Russia with artillery shells,” Reuters, November 3, 2022. https://www.reuters.com/world/white-house-says-north-korea-supplying-russia-with-artillery-shells-2022-11-02.

[4] George Wright, “North Korea sold arms to Russia’s Wagner group, US says,” BBC News, December 22, 2022. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-64072570.

[5] Joori Roh, “N.Korea says it has never supplied weapons or ammunition to Russia – KCNA,” Reuters, September 21, 2022. https://www.reuters.com/world/nkorea-says-it-has-never-supplied-weapons-or-ammunition-russia-kcna-2022-09-21/.

[6] Trever Hunnicutt and David Brunnstrom, “U.S.: Russia could be about to buy ‘millions’ of North Korean shells, rockets,” Reuters, September 7, 2022. https://www.reuters.com/world/russia-is-buying-artillery-ammunition-nkorea-report-2022-09-06/.

[7] Kim Tong-hyung, “N. Korea may send workers to Russian occupied east Ukraine,” Associated Press, September 1, 2022. https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-united-nations-south-korea-moscow-663c0f754b2c04644b532918fdeed3ab.

[8] Mun Dong-Hui, “N. Korea finalises selection of workers to join reconstruction efforts in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine,” Daily NK, October 21, 2022. https://www.dailynk.com/english/north-korea-finalizes-selection-workers-join-reconstruction-efforts-russia-occupied-parts-ukraine/.

[9] Mun Dong-Hui, “Pyongyang delays sending of workers to Eastern Ukraine due to security concerns,” Daily NK, February 1, 2023. https://www.dailynk.com/english/pyongyang-delays-sending-workers-eastern-ukraine-due-security-concerns/.

[10] Julian E. Barnes and Adam Entous, “How the U.S. Adopted a New Intelligence Playbook to Expose Russia’s War Plans,” The New York Times, February 23, 2023. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/23/us/politics/intelligence-russia-us-ukraine-china.html.

[11] Human Rights Watch, “A Matter of Survival: The North Korean Government’s Control of Food and the Risk of Hunger,” May 3, 2006. https://www.hrw.org/report/2006/05/03/matter-survival/north-korean-governments-control-food-and-risk-hunger.

[12] “China Denies Involvement in Illicit Oil Shipments to North Korea,” VOA News, December 29, 2017. https://www.voanews.com/a/south-korea-oil-hong-kong-north-korea/4184019.html.

[13] “North Korea: South seizes ship amid row over illegal oil transfer,” BBC News, December 29, 2017. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42510783.

[14] Stella Cooper, Christoph Koetti, and Muyi Xiao, “5 Takeaways From Investigating Covert Oil Deliveries to North Korea,” The New York Times, March 22, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/22/world/winson-north-korea-oil-tankers.html.

[15] Tony Monroe and Jane Chung, “For North Korea, cutting off oil supplies would be devastating,” Reuters, April 13, 2017. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-nuclear-china-oil-idUSKBN17F17L.

[16] “North Korea defies sanctions with China’s help, UN Panel says,” The Guardian, April 18, 2020. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/18/north-korea-defies-sanctions-with-chinas-help-un-panel-says.