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Home>American seafood shoppers may have unwittingly funded North Korea: report

American seafood shoppers may have unwittingly funded North Korea: report

American seafood shoppers may have unwittingly funded North Korea: report

10/05/2017

By Mike Murphy

Virtual slave labor processed seafood that made its way to U.S. stores, AP investigation finds

American shoppers buying seafood at some popular stores may have unwittingly helped fund North Korea, according to a new report Wednesday.

An Associated Press investigation (https://apnews.com/8b493b7df6e147e98d19f3abb5ca090a?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP)found that North Korean workers outsourced by their government process seafood in China, some of which has ended up in American stores.

The North Korean workers are virtual slaves, the AP reported, working long hours in an isolated compound in Hunchun, in northern China, while the North Korean government takes as much as 70% of their paychecks, essentially paying the workers as little as 46 cents an hour.

North Korea exports tens of thousands of workers to a number of countries, including Russia and China, generating $200 million to $500 million a year for Kim Jong Un's regime, the AP reported -- money that may account for a sizeable portion of the country's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs.

The AP tracked the seafood processed by North Koreans, which was distributed around the world, including the U.S., Canada and Europe. A variety of seafood, including salmon fillets, snow crab and squid rings, eventually ended up at Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) ; ALDI, the German grocery-store chain that owns Trader Joe's; and other supermarkets, the AP found.

In August, President Donald Trump banned American companies from importing products made by North Korean workers.

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