North Korea is seeking ways to export its workers to Mongolia as the central Asian country is recruiting foreign laborers to work at its mines, a U.S. broadcaster, monitored here, said Wednesday.
"(As far as I know), the North Korean authorities recently set up ways to make use of its workforce, and keeps trying to make contacts with the Mongolian side," the Radio Free Asia cited a Mongolian construction official as saying over the phone.
As Mongolia is currently recruiting foreign laborers as miners, North Korea workers are likely to aggressively apply, the official said.
A photo taken on July 11, 2016, shows North Korean workers returning to their construction site after smoking at a university in Ulan Bator. (Yonhap)
The mining work will go on full scale in March next year, he added.
Mongolia began to hire North Korean workers en masse in 2008, and such employment peaked with 5,000 in 2013.
At present, however, the number of North Korean workers working in Mongolia has decreased to some 1,000 due to an economic slump that hit the central Asian nation in 2014.
More than 50,000 North Koreans are believed to be forced to work overseas, mainly in China and Russia, sending substantial amounts of their salaries to the Pyongyang regime. The North reportedly earns more than $200 million per year through labor exports. (Yonhap)