Why this project

Desperate for hard currency, North Korea has been sending tens of thousands of its people abroad to earn cash for the state, dispatching lumberjacks to Russia, construction workers to the Middle East and medics to countries in Africa. Tanzania hosts as many as 12 medical clinics, including four in the capital Dar es-Salaam, that remit about $1 million a year to Pyongyang. The clinics, however, face growing criticism among Tanzanians for doctors who are unqualified and can't communicate with patients, misdiagnosis of illnesses, unsanitary conditions and poorly labeled medicines that contain toxic metals.

Exporting Fakes? North Korean Clinics Hawk Questionable Medical Care to Tanzania Part 1

Our reporter Albert Hong traveled on location in Tanzania and reports on condition in North Korean medical facilities.

Exporting Fakes? North Korean Clinics Hawk Questionable Medical Care to Tanzania Part 2

North Korea built 12 clinics throughout the African nation. But the high fees paid by patients often fail to deliver accurate diagnoses and effective treatment.

North Koreans Toil Longer for Less in Poland as Pyongyang Takes Most of Their Paycheck

Workers earning foreign currency in Poland for North Korea’s Kim Jong Un regime are not receiving fair wages and face restrictions on their activities.

Working Conditions in Europe for North Koreans Draw Political Scrutiny, Investigations

The European Union must hold its member countries accountable for labor law violations that have led to the abuse of workers from North Korea earning foreign currency for the Kim Jong Un regime, experts say.

Malta Shifts Policy, but Employers Shrug Off Critics and Actively Seek North Korean Workers

Companies based in Malta are seeking laborers sent abroad by North Korea to earn foreign currency for the Kim Jong Un regime, despite recent criticism leveled at the island nation over conditions Asian workers face there.

Diners Give Cold Shoulder to North Korean Restaurants After Pyongyang's Provocations, U.N. Sanctions

North Korean restaurants in Cambodia earning foreign currency for the Kim Jong Un regime are facing a slump in sales as South Korean tourists they rely on for cash shun the establishments amid provocations from Pyongyang, according to sources.

North Korean Workers in Kuwait Face Tight Information Controls as Bulk of their Pay Goes to Kim Regime (Part 1)

Most North Koreans work for around three years in Kuwait after obtaining an employment visa, return to North Korea for six months to a year while they renew their visas.

North Korean Workers in Kuwait Turn to Bootlegging Liquor, Theft to Supplement Income (Part 2)

Workers sent by North Korea’s regime to earn foreign currency at construction sites in Kuwait are engaging in illegal activities such as bootlegging and stealing building materials to meet their income requirements, according to sources.

Poor Conditions, Low Pay for North Korean Women Working in Mongolia's Textile Industry (Part 1)

Women from North Korea sent to Mongolia to earn foreign currency for the Kim Jong Un regime labor in difficult conditions, rarely see any of their monthly wages, and endure harsh treatment from their handlers.

Mongolia's Economic Downturn Means Sporadic Work, Tough Times for North Korean Workers (Part 2)

At a construction site in Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar, three North Korean workers put the finishing tiles into place in the bathroom of a two-story preschool recently opened as part of a new apartment complex.