"As for the repatriation of the North Korean workers, Russia as a UN member state, will comply with all the resolutions of the UN Security Council. But there is no question of immediate repatriation," Galushka said in an interview.
In late December, the UNSC imposed additional sanctions on Pyongyang, significantly restricting export and import opportunities for the North Korean economy. One of the provisions of UNSC resolution 2397 limits the number of North Korean nationals working in the member states. According to the intergovernmental agreement between Russia and North Korea, embassy staff and their family members can stay visa-free during the full duration of their diplomatic missions.
The minister explained that there were about 35,000 North Korean nationals in Russia, around 10,000 of whom work in Primorsky Krai, located in the Russian Far East region. They are mostly employed in agriculture, construction and renovation sectors, he added. According to the resolution, the repatriation period for North Korean nationals is two years, meaning they have the right to remain in Russia until their work permit expires and it is ensured that the projects they are working on will not be affected, Galushka indicated.