Seoul, Tokyo, Washington urge North Korean workers repatriation

Seoul, Apr 7 (EFE).- The diplomatic envoys for nuclear affairs from South Korea, Japan and the United States called on the international community to repatriate North Korean workers abroad to reduce remittances sent back serving to finance Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons weapons program.

The three envoys, Kim Gunn of South Korea, Takehiro Funakoshi of Japan and Sung Kim of the United States, issued a statement Friday following a trilateral meeting in Seoul, condemning the regime’s repeated ballistic missile launches “as well as its destabilizing and escalating rhetoric related to the use of nuclear weapons.”

The meeting comes just 10 days after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspected tactical nuclear warheads, a type of weaponry Pyongyang had never displayed before and is focused on improving for potential use against South Korea or neighboring countries such as Japan.

In the statement, the three diplomats said “that according to United Nations Security Council resolution 2397 of 2017, member states must repatriate all workers from (North Korea) who are generating revenue in their jurisdictions.”

The text “deplores the violation of human rights” that involves the diversion of the income of these workers to finance the nuclear and missile program. It said this affects not only workers who perform physical labor (normally in sectors with the lumber or construction) but also in the increasing number of North Korean communications engineers who win contracts under false nationalities.

“We are also deeply concerned about how (North Korea) finances these weapons programs by stealing and laundering funds, as well as gathering information through malicious cyber activities,” the letter added.

In 2022 alone, it is estimated that North Korea managed to steal $1.7 billion worth of cryptocurrencies through its army of hackers. EFE


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