North Korea is transporting citizens to Russia in what is being labelled a new ‘slave trade’.
Shocking revelations have exposed the transportation of workers.
Taken north, they are kept in ‘slave’ conditions and forced to hand money over to their Korean overlords.
Human rights groups have hit out at the practice, which gives Kim Jong-un hard currency from Russia.
The dictator has worried observers following recent tests of Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM).
There are now 50,000 or more North Koreans working in low-paid manual labour jobs across Russia.
They are worth an estimated $120m (£91.66m) to their home nation each year, according to the Data Base Centre for North Korean Human Rights.
The charity, based in the South Korean capital, revealed their findings to Fox News.
Russia has benefited from the cheap labour – providing a ‘willing’ workforce for a St Petersburg football stadium.
Treated appallingly, critics point to one of the workers dying on site and a further two being found in squalid living conditions near the building.
Far eastern ports in Vladivostok use the workers to paint ships, paying them less than £650 a month.
Workers find their salary creamed off by the Workers Party, the ruling group in North Korea, and cruel Russian bosses, according to the New York Times.
North Korea has long sent workers to horrific logging camps in central Russia, in places compared with Communist concentration camps like the Gulag.
The hermit nation was once totally subsidised by their northern Soviet neighbours.
Yet after the collapse of the USSR, North Korea was left destitute and thousands died in a crippling famine.
Since then, aggressive jingoism has characterised the nation with their global partners.
Donald Trump had pledged to deal with the threat they posed saying they were ‘on notice’.
The American president, however, has blamed Chinese authorities for not working with him, a claim denied by Beijing.
However, there is no doubt that the Chinese use the cheap labour force – as do Gulf allies like Qatar.
The US has long known of the conditions but no credible action has been taken.
This year, the American State Department announced: ‘Credible reports of slave-like conditions of North Koreans working in Russia.’
While the UN fails to act, North Korean workers continue to suffer the consequences of inaction across Asia.