Archive for the ‘Qatar’ Category

North Koreans working on Qatar construction projects

Friday, November 7th, 2014

According to The Guardian:

In the sprawling construction zone that will eventually become Qatar’s gleaming $45bn (£28bn) Lusail City, where the 2022 World Cup final will be held, four construction sites are said to be using North Korean workers, although there is no suggestion they are involved in building World Cup stadiums.

On one site, North Koreans battled biting desert sands and searing heat to construct a luxury residential tower. They laboured on as day turned to night, long after workers from other nationalities had left the site.

One North Korean worker helping to build the high-rise said: “People like us don’t usually get paid. The money does not come to the person directly. It’s nothing to do with me, it’s the [North Korean recruitment] company’s business.”

A project manager of the lavish development said the workers “don’t have a single rial themselves” and “borrow money from us if they need small things like cigarettes”.

“The descriptions of the conditions North Korean workers endure in Qatar – abuse of vulnerability, withholding of wages and excessive overtime – are highly indicative of state-sponsored trafficking for forced labour,” a modern form of slavery, said Aidan McQuade, the director of Anti-Slavery International.

Sources in Qatar estimate there may be as many as 3,000 North Koreans working on projects across the emirate. They are part of an army of workers the North Korean regime exports around the world to bring in much-needed foreign currency. According to defectors’ groups, there may be as many as 65,000 North Koreans abroad, mainly working in Russia, China, Mongolia and the Middle East.

Kim Joo-il, a former army officer who escaped North Korea in 2005, estimates that the Pyongyang government typically takes 70% of the total salary of workers abroad, and that after all “fees”, notionally for food and accommodation, have been paid, workers will be left with only 10% of their salary.

Two employees of state-run North Korean recruitment firms operating in Qatar admitted that their workers do not receive their salaries in person, but insisted a proportion of their wages are sent back to the workers’ families in North Korea.

A spokesperson from the ministry of labour and social affairs said: “We take all issues around worker payment extremely seriously. There are currently 2,800 North Korean guest workers registered in Qatar and we have no recorded complaints about their payment or treatment. Qatar is determined to continually improve labour conditions for all who work in the country, and will continue to work with NGOs, businesses and other governments to achieve this.”

North Koreans are alleged to have participated in construction of facilities at South Africa’s World Cup as well.

Here are previous posts involving Qatar.

You can read the full story here:
North Koreans working as ‘state-sponsored slaves’ in Qatar
The Guardian
2014-11-7

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DPRK’s womens team takes gold in Asian Games

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

Joong Ang Daily
12/15/2006

North Korean women down Japan for gold

North Korea retained the Asian Games women’s soccer title early yesterday with a 4-2 penalty kick shootout win over Japan.

The defending champions, Asia’s highest-ranked team, enjoyed the better chances throughout the match and held their nerve at the end with goalkeeper Jon Myong-hui saving two Japan kicks.

North Korea scored all of its penalty kick chances as Ri Kum-suk, Ri Un-gyong, Ho Sun-hui and Jong Pok-sim all found the net.

Despite the victory North Korean coach Kim Kwang-min said his club should have gotten it done in regulation.

“Although we are similar physically we are better players,” said Kim. “I told them to be aggressive from the start and we should have won in 90 minutes. I am not overly satisfied with the performance.”

The first half of the game saw both teams cancel each other out, but North Korea almost broke through in the first half.

It took a flying save from Japan ese goalkeeper Miho Fukumoto to deny North Korea’s top scorer, Ri Kum-suk, from finding the net with a sharp, downward header.

At the one-hour mark, Song Jong-sun turned smartly and unleashed a fierce left-footed shot which just sailed past Fukumoto’s left hand.

Kim Kyong-haw then teed up Ho Sun Hui, who shot straight at Fukumoto.

Eriko Arakawa then set up Japan’s best chance of the game in the 72nd minute when she turned inside two defenders, drew the goalkeeper out and released the ball into the path of Shinobu Ohno, who was unable to steer the ball home.

Ri Kum-suk then squandered a late chance to settle the tie in normal time, heading just inches wide at the far post.

Fukumoto twice rescued Japan in extra-time, once even having to keep out a misdirected header from teammate Kozue Ando.

Ohno then gave the North Koreans a major scare when she had the ball in the back of the net with a volley finish five minutes from the end of the first period of extra time.

But it was controversially ruled out for offsides and the match went to the penalty shootout.

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North Korean Cheerleading Squad in Doha Asian Game Is Consisted of Middle-Aged Workers

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Daily NK
Yang Jung A
12/13/2006

On the 12th, the Mainichi Newspaper reported that N. Korea sent a group of middle-aged men cheerleading squad to the Asian Game held in Doha, Qatar. In 2002 N. Korea sent a group of young women cheerleading squad to Busan Asian Game.

When N. Korea won the soccer game 2 to 1 over Japan held in the past 7, hundreds of the N. Korean cheerleading squad were so excited that after the game they entered into the stadium and tossed their players shoulder-high.

The cheerleading squad was construction workers who were out in Doha to make foreign currency funds. The newspaper also reported that while N. Korea has screwed most of salaries of its workers recently dispatched in Czech and Poland, it has seemed to actively export their workers to the Middle-East areas.

In the South-North soccer game held in the past 9, around one thousand of the North Korean people cheered up their players, who finally lost the game and shouted ‘take heart of grace’ following the instruction of a cheerleader.

Mr. Gong, South Korean businessman doing equipment business in Doha said that, “Two teams of North Korean workers were dispatched into one workplace. One team is consisted of two hundreds workers” and “their contract duration is 2 or 3 years and they are diligent”.

You could see the North Korean people who have stiff looks go shopping in a big supermarket in weekends.

A Pyongyang man cheering up his team in the South-North soccer game said that, “the workplaces are divided into a few areas so that I do not know how many people are in here. I am really happy to be here to meet people working at other workplaces”.

In the meanwhile, other men responded that, “I make Kimchi by myself. I have no problem for my living”. After the first half of the game, many people bought a few bottles of juice and snacks in a stand. The newspaper added, however, nobody granted an interview to reporters about their salaries.

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