North Korean men paying not to work

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Imagine going to work every day and rarely getting paid. Then, one day, you’re told there’s no work to do — and you must pay the company for the privilege of not working!

Welcome to the Orwellian world of work in North Korea, where men remain tied to the country’s moribund state-run institutions.

Mr. Kim’s job in a state-run steel factory requires him to build roads. He can’t remember the last time he received a monthly salary. When there are no roads to build, he has to pay his company around 20 times his paltry monthly salary.

“He had to pay not to work for about six months of last year,” Mrs. Kim told NPR, sighing. “You have to pay, even if you can’t afford to eat. It’s mandatory.”

“And if you don’t go to work, you go to prison,” another male interviewee tells NPR.

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This entry was posted in by Grant Montgomery.

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