Forced labour earnings from within EU member states sent to North Korea

Written Question to High Representative and European Commission

Today, Marietje Schaake submitted the following question to High Representative Federica Mogherini and the European Commission.

In July 2016, a report found thousands of North Korean nationals were sent to work throughout Europe (1). De facto slaves, North Korean workers are forcibly ‘deployed’, obligated to send 70-100% of their earnings back to North Korea and additionally, are forced to make hours and work in conditions that flagrantly violate EU labour laws.

This situation has since remained unchanged and European countries in which North Koreans are deployed include Poland, Malta, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. Estimates put the money earned by North Korea in Poland in 2015 alone at around 15 million euros.

Is the VP/HR aware of this contravention of sanctions in place against North Korea and if so, why is North Korea, through state controlled companies still able to earn millions of euros within the EU?

Given the current tensions and build-up of weapons in North Korea, what measures will the HR/VP take to make sure money flows from North Korean nationals in EU member states to North Korea are halted immediately?

Will the HR/VP start an EU wide, independent investigation in the circumstances under which North Korean nationals were sent and able to work in EU countries, often under state issued work permits?