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Russia cuts North Koreans' stay to one year

Russia doesn't expel North Koreans, the deputy chief of the Interior Ministry’s migration department stressed

MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Russia has reduced the stay of North Koreans after the UN Security Council’s resolution, but no deportation is in progress, the deputy chief of the Interior Ministry’s migration department, Valentina Kazakova, said on Thursday.

"No deportation as such is underway. Those whose visas expire take their leave. In this particular case they are not responsible for any wrongdoing. The UN Security Council’s resolution is being implemented," Kazakova said at a meeting of the State Duma’s committee for CIS affairs.

Kazakova explained that the North Koreans were free to work in Russia as long as their visas remained valid. At the same time she said the Russian authorities were receiving ever more requests from North Koreans for permanent asylum.

"But we must work in compliance with the UN resolution," she said.

According to Kazakova, about two thousand North Koreans worked in Russia at the moment under work permits.

Earlier, Russia’s ambassador to Pyongyang Aleksandr Matsegora told the media that Russia had started expelling North Korean labor migrants in accordance with the UN Security Council’s resolution adopted in December last year.

The UN Security Council on December 22, 2017 unanimously voted for a resolution to tighten sanctions against North Korea in retaliation for the November 29 ballistic missile test. The resolution introduced more restrictions on the supplies of crude oil and oil products to Pyongyang and also urged all countries to expel North Korean guest workers within 24 months. It is expected that these steps will strip Pyongyang of the resources to push ahead with the development of nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles. The United States’ UN envoy Nikki Haley earlier claimed that the bulk of the money North Korean guest workers earn abroad was used to fund these programs.