The U.S. government has issued a warning to businesses that they may be sanctioned if North Korean companies or slave-like laborers are found in their supply chains. The July 23 advisory describes the tactics used by North Korean companies to conduct business despite sanctions, in an effort to help businesses ensure they are not in violation.
According to the advisory, “businesses should be aware of deceptive practices employed by North Korea” to ensure they are not sanctioned for their connections. It notes the “evasive tactics used by North Korea that could expose businesses” include using manufacturers, buyers, and service providers.
It says that with multiple U.S. and U.N. sanctions on trade with North Korea, and in regard to using North Korean labor, there are two primary risks for businesses: first, the “inadvertent sourcing of goods, services, or technology from North Korea,” and second, “the presence of North Korean citizens or nationals in companies’ supply chains” if the profits go to the North Korean government.
“North Korea’s system of forced labor operates both domestically and internationally,” it states. Most North Korean laborers work 12 to 16 hours a day, with only one to two days of rest each month. The North Korean government takes 70 to 90 percent of their earnings.
It adds, “The U.S. government is focusing its disruption efforts on North Korean citizens or nationals whose labor generates revenue for the North Korean government.”
The warning was in a North Korea sanctions and enforcement advisory from the Department of State, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Despite recent peace talks between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, North Korea is still under sanctions for its nuclear weapons programs and threats—which may be ended only after the communist regime demonstrates that it has ceased its nuclear weapons programs.