North Korean workers prepare seafood for US stores, restaurants

Posted at 3:22 PM, Oct 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-04 15:22:32-04

HUNCHUN, China (AP) -- An Associated Press investigation has found North Korean workers are processing seafood in Chinese factories. Their salmon fillets and squid rings end up in American supermarkets and restaurants, as well as in Canada and Europe.

This means Americans buying salmon for dinner at Walmart or ALDI may have subsidized the North Korean government as it builds its nuclear weapons program.

The North Korean workers are paid a fraction of their salaries, while the rest -- as much as 70 percent -- is taken by their government.

Every Western company involved that responded to AP's requests for comment said forced labor and potentially supporting North Korea's weapons program was unacceptable in their supply chains; many said they were going to investigate or had already cut ties.

While U.S. law generally forbids Americans from conducting business in North Korea, the AP employs a small number of support staff in its Pyongyang bureau, operating under a waiver granted by the U.S. government to allow the flow of news and information.