North Korea’s alleged forced labor in Chinese fisheries draws congressional attention


A U.S. congressional committee calls on the Biden administration to take action against North Korean workers suspected of forced labor China FisheriesSays sales of seafood to U.S. consumers could help fund North Korea’s weapons program.

Why is it so important?

North Korea is under U.S.-led international sanctions, of which China is one, aimed at curbing ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs that threaten the U.S. and its allies.

The sanctions include a ban on the use of North Korean labor in third countries, and, as stated in the Congressional Executive Committee on China letter, U.S. law prohibits the import of any goods made with North Korean labor. 2

Two Chinese fishermen drowned while being pursued by Taiwan Coast Guard on suspicion of illegal trespassing

context

Republican Rep. Chris Smith and Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley sent a letter Monday to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorca Alejandro Mayorkas, the letter highlighted this concern. committee.

They cited recent reports from the NGO Illegal Seas Project that North Koreans were forced to work and suffered abuse in Chinese factories that process seafood “that ends up on American plates.”

On July 26, 2023, fishing boats appeared at Gaoqi Fishing Port in Xiamen City, Fujian Province, China. Allegations of forced labor by North Korean workers in China’s fishing industry have fueled concerns that sales of seafood to U.S. consumers could help fund North Korea’s weapons programs. (cnsphoto from Reuters/data map)

The CECC president said the U.S. government should:

  • Immediately stop all imports from Chinese companies employing North Korean labor
  • Call for a United Nations Security Council meeting Discuss China’s alleged violations United Nations sanctions
  • Insist on giving UN High Commissioner for Refugees access to North Korean workers in China
  • Require full supply chain disclosures, transportation records and forced labor prevention plans for all U.S. seafood purchases, and issue an advisory on the risks of buying seafood from China
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Key Quotes

“Seafood sold in U.S. grocery stores and wholesalers like Costco, as well as shipped to military bases, school food programs, and even congressional cafeterias, unwittingly complicates American consumers and the U.S. government in supporting forced labor and funding Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship,” the letter read.

A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington declined to comment, saying they were unaware of the matter. Costco did not respond to a request for comment.



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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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