According to Reuters, those clothes you wear that say “made in China” may actually have been sewn by the downtrodden workers in North Korea in its state-owned factories. The money paid to North Korea can be funneled into its weapons program.
In recent years, North Korea had ramped up the practice as UN sanctions financially squeezed leader Kim Jong-un’s government. Go Myong-hyun, a researcher with the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, estimates that there are about 20,000 North Korean nationals in northeast China alone, working in labor-intensive jobs such as garment manufacturing and bringing in between $100 million to $200 million every year for the regime.
One report states that among the top exports of North Korea are Non-Knit Men’s coats ($169 million), Non-Knit Men’s suits ($153 million), Non-Knit Women’s Coats ($131 million), and Non-Knit Women’s Suits ($97 Million).
Radio Free Asia reported in 2016 that Calvin Klein and Levi’s were made in part by North Koreans, although the companies may not have known that.