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N. Korean workers in China return home amid tougher sanctions

2017/10/03 11:06

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Beijing, Oct. 3 (Yonhap) -- North Korean workers in China are forced to return home amid tougher Chinese sanctions in the wake of Pyongyang's sixth nuclear test last month, sources said.

One source in Beijing told Yonhap News Agency that a large number of North Koreans was seen leaving China after failing to get their visas extended.

On Sept. 12, Beijing ordered no visa extensions and a stricter screening process for new visa issuance for North Korean workers. On Sept. 28, it ordered North Korean firms to close down in 120 days.

"Until early this year, more than 20,000 North Koreans worked in Dandong. But the number has decreased a lot after China toughened its sanctions," another source said. "We can spot many North Korean workers at Dandong Station and the immigration office waiting to go home."

   Recently a photo has been circulated on WeChat, a popular messaging service in China, that showed hundreds of North Korean women waiting to return to their country.

It is said that the Chinese authorities have recently intensified monitoring the visa status of North Koreans working in seafood processing, as well as clothing and electronic parts factories, in Dandong, Yanji and other cities. Those with expired visas were ordered to leave. The measure caused around 2,600 workers in the three northeast provinces -- Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang -- to recently return to North Korea.

Around 100,000 North Korean workers are believed to have been sent overseas so far to earn hard currency, estimated at US$500 million a year.

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angloinfo.com