In this Tuesday, July 25, 2017 photo, a waitress sings at the Pyongyang Okryu-Gwan North Korean Restaurant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. From state-run restaurants to construction sites, North Korean workers in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates face conditions akin to forced labor while being spied on by planted intelligence officers, eating little food and suffering physical abuse, authorities say. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Thousands of North Korean laborers work in four U.S.-allied nations in the Persian Gulf, earning hard currency for Pyongyang despite international sanctions as pressure grows over its nuclear weapons program.
Officials and experts say North Korea’s government uses that money to buy missile parts. Meanwhile, they say laborers in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates face conditions akin to forced labor while eating little food and suffering physical abuse.
Two officials familiar with Pyongyang’s tactics told The Associated Press that North Korean laborers even have worked on an expansion of a military base in the UAE, home to U.S. forces fighting the Islamic State group. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential intelligence reports.
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