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Thousands of North Korean Laborers in U.S.-Allied Gulf Nations

Bloomberg business news

North Korea Isn't Backing Down

Updated on

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- As pressure on North Korea grows over its nuclear weapons program, America's most valued Arab allies host thousands of its laborers whose wages help Pyongyang evade sanctions and build the missiles now threatening the U.S. and its Asian partners, officials and analysts say.

From state-run restaurants to construction sites, North Korean workers in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates face conditions akin to forced labor while being spied on by planted intelligence officers, eating little food and suffering physical abuse, authorities say. Hundreds more North Korean workers may be coming to the UAE, home to a crucial military base, while laborers remain in the other countries.