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N. Korea exploits a loophole in Abkhazia to make foreign cash

N. Korea exploits a loophole in Abkhazia to make foreign cash

Posted October. 15, 2019 07:31,   

Updated October. 15, 2019 07:31


The Washington Post reported Sunday that North Korea is sending down workers to Abkhazia, a country within Georgia that has yet to be authorized as a nation by international organizations, in a bid to avoid the sanctions imposed by the United Nations. The communist regime exploited the loophole that non-UN member states are not obligated to comply with the resolutions against Pyongyang.

Currently, some 400 North Koreans are working in Abkhazia, most of them building apartment blocks and laying railway tracks. The United States has estimated the amount of remittances they make back to their homeland is near 500 million U.S. dollars (590 billion won) a year.

Abkhazia, an autonomous republic located near the Black Sea, southwest to Russia, is part of Georgia’s territory under international law, but it declared independence in 2008. Abkhazia has not been recognized as a country by the United Nations or any other international organization. Countries that have fallen out with the United States such as Russia, Syria, or Venezuela are recognizing it as an independent country. Abkhazia is a popular destination of summer holidays for Russians thanks to its beautiful ports and low prices.

The Washington Post further reported that Russia is making a strategic support for North Koreans so that they can move to and get hired in Abkhazia. There used to be about 40,000 North Korean workers in Russia, but now the number has shrunk to 10,000.

Ji-Sun Choi aurinko@donga.com