Our information sources in North Korea have informed us that Kim Jung-Il has taken out an estimated three to four-hundred million dollars from the Workers for Foreign Currency fund in the name of “trading permission.” This is a dramatic increase from last year’s monetary extraction, under the same pretense, of two to three-hundred million dollars.
According to official information, North Korea usually sends about ten thousand workers a year to jobs outside the DPRK. This year however, the number of North Koreans working internationally increased by roughly thirty percent.
In the city of Dandong, China alone, there are a total of 650 North Korean workers. Of these workers, 140 are military personnel, 160 administration workers, and the rest general workers. This is a 150 person -30 percent- increase from last year’s 500 North Korean workers in Dondong. With the salaries of all these foreign workers, the DPRK and extracts around twenty million dollars each year; a roughly five million dollar increase from the fifteen million brought in last year.
For each individual North Korean working outside the DPRK, the North Korean government takes roughly thirty-thousand dollars annually (aggregate mean) in foreign currency. If workers do not meet a monetary quota, they are forced to return to North Korea.
The exact monetary amount North Korean worker are compelled to contribute varies depending on profession. In addition to these already high taxes (the vast majority of their incomes) North Korean international workers are obliged to donate one thousand dollars to the DPRK government on each of the “Great Leaders” birthdays: February 16, for Kim Jung-Il, April 15, for Kim Il-Sung, and January 8, for Kim Jun-Un.
All of the money “donated” to the DPRK authorities by these foreign workers is directed –through “foreign currency management”- into the personal coffers of Kim Jung-Il in the name of the Party and Revolution.
Each foreign worker is assigned a foreign work permit for three years. After three years workers who have fulfilled their obligatory payments may receive an addition three year international work permit. These additional three year permits are only given out after the worker returns from the country they were working in and completes an “education of political thinking” program for the course of six months.
Our source confirmed that North Korean foreign workers have a sizable tax and “donation” burden, and, in comparison to workers in most capitalist countries the amount of money extracted is exorbitant.
The source added that –in response to the question of why he would continue to pay such exorbitant taxes, and return to North Korea after working abroad- he did not want to return to the DPRK but it was difficult to not be forced to return. “If I return to North Korea, I am scared that I will be again isolated from the free world I have adopted. I have come to understand that North Korea is not the place for a man to live. I don’t know how I lived there before.”
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