Washington Post: ‘In breakaway Abkhazia, a loophole for North Korean workers amid beaches and Soviet relics’

North Korean workers head to work at a construction site in Sukhumi, the capital of  Georgia’s Russian-occupied Abkhazia region. Photo: Joel van Houdt. 

Agenda.ge, Oct 15, 2019, Tbilisi, Georgia

The Washington Post reads that Georgia’s Russian-occupied Abkhazia region is a convenient place to sidestep UN sanctions that demand the expulsion of all North Korean guest workers worldwide by late December.

Early each morning, before the sun warms the Black Sea beaches, bands of North Korean workers set out for their shift at construction sites, their lunches dangling in thin plastic bags,” the story reads. 

The Washington Post says that Russia and China, which have hosted the lion’s share, signed the resolution two years ago with some reluctance.

A North Korean worker smokes after his shift in front of the Soviet sanatorium where he lives in Sukhumi, the capital of the self-declared republic of Abkhazia on the Black Sea coast, on Sept. 11. Photo: Joel van Houdt.

But tiny Russia-backed Abkhazia — firmly outside the U.N. family — offers Moscow a place to stash some of the North Korean workers rather than ship them home. For Russia, there is a strategic play at hand.” 

The media outlet cites analysts as saying that the Kremlin hopes the small cadre of workers tucked away in Abkhazia will help win some more goodwill with Kim Jong Un’s regime as Moscow tries to strengthen its influence in Asia. 

Read the full story here.