US Customs vows to block imports made by North Korea workers

US Customs vows to block imports made by North Korea workers

October 5th, 2017 by Associated Press in National Business

In this Aug. 31, 2017, photo, North Korean workers walk in a group to dormitories in the compound of the seafood processing factory Hunchun Pagoda in the city of Hunchun in northeastern China's Jilin province. Roughly 3,000 North Koreans are believed to work in Hunchun, a far northeast Chinese industrial hub just a few miles from the borders of both North Korea and Russia. The workers are paid a fraction of their salaries, while the rest - as much as 70 percent - is taken by North Korea’s government. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it is ready to block U.S. imports of seafood processed by North Korean laborers who work in China.

An Associated Press investigation tracked seafood processed by North Koreans working at Chinese factories and shipped to American stores, including Walmart and ALDI. The North Koreans aren't allowed to leave and receive only a fraction of their pay - most goes straight to the North Korean state.

This means that American consumers buying seafood labeled "Caught in the USA, Processed in China" may be subsidizing North Korea's government and supporting forced labor.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it would "pursue all enforcement actions and prohibit goods from importation as appropriate." The companies that responded also vowed to investigate ties with suppliers.