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China issues 20,000 work visas to DPRK

By Li Xiaokun (China Daily)

16:51, May 28, 2012

China is issuing 20,000 working visas to people from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to attract working labor to the northeast of the country, the website of Seoul's Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported on Monday.

"To ease a manpower shortage in the three provinces in Northeast China, the (Chinese) authorities have decided to introduce 20,000 people from North Korea in the form of industrial trainees," a diplomatic source based in Seoul told the newspaper.

According to the report, a company in Tumen, in the Yanbian Korean autonomous prefecture in Jilin province, has employed 29 women from the DPRK this month, for the first time. A further 160 DPRK women have been dispatched to the region.

Media in Northeast China also carried advertisements for DPRK labor, it said.

The newspaper said DPRK citizens can work in sectors including manufacturing and services after getting working visas, It said the monthly salary was above $150.

The average monthly pay of DPRK workers at the Kaesong Industrial Park, a collaborative economic development by the DPRK and the Republic of Korea, is $110.

China is issuing the visas to help the DPRK, while Pyongyang is actively pushing forward the move to help the country accumulate foreign exchange, said the report.

The Chinese government has yet to confirm the report.

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