As the world watches statesmen navigate the geopolitical issues that concern the United States such as our relations (or lack thereof) between nations such as China and Russia, many forget to include North Korea and the threat it poses to countries around the globe. However, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) alongside Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) sent a letter to Secretary of State Tony Blinken as well as the Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen to push them to enforce sanctions above the 38th parallel.
According to multiple sources such as Reuters, North Korea is coercing thousands of its citizens to look for information technology (IT) jobs in the U.S. in order to bring wealth to the nuclear weapons program. This warning was issued in May.
In the letter, Rubio and Hagerty write, “On May 16, 2022, your departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation released a fact sheet and advisory explaining that thousands of North Korean information technology (IT) workers have been forced to seek employment internationally in order to generate new revenue streams for the regime.”
They would go on to mention that “As has been noted in many previous reports by the U.S. Department of State, the regime confiscates as much as 90 percent of the salary earned by overseas North Korean laborers. While we commend your administration for issuing this guidance, more must be done.”
Not only does this letter come at a time in which North Korea is targeting the United States through American businesses, but it also comes at a time in which North Korea and Russia are in good standing. According to the Rubio press release, North Korea and Russia have “recently agreed to dispatch North Korean laborers to areas in Ukraine seized by Russia.”
Rubio and Hagerty finish the letter imploring Blinken and Yellen to impose the sanctions upon those (whether it’s an individual or hiring websites such as Linkedin) who knowingly allows the employment of North Koreans.
“We urge you to review the practices of websites, including LinkedIn and Indeed, which continue to host fraudulent user profiles of North Korean IT workers, to determine if there are sufficient safeguards in place to prevent American companies from employing North Korean forced laborers through these websites.”
Earlier this month, Russia acquired rockets and artillery shells from North Korea to fuel their fight against Ukraine.