Professor Park Kyung-ae, director of the Center for Korean Research at the University of British Columbia, told Yonhap News Agency the North Koreans arrived last month to study international business, international economics, finance and trade. Five of the visiting professors teach these subjects at Kimilsung University, the elite North Korean institution named after the country's founding leader, while one teaches at a university of economics in the eastern city of Wonsan, she said, declining to give further details.The Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported earlier that the six professors from Kimilsung University were studying on an MBA course at the university in Vancouver. In fact, Park said the North Koreans will study four subjects at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels starting in September, after completing a two-month English language course.The visiting professors are the first group to have been invited under the Canada-DPRK Knowledge Partnership Program, which Park helped launch at UBC last year. DPRK stands for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
There are an estimated 3,000 North Korean laborers in Vladivostok. One source there said, "In the past, most of the North Korean laborers worked at logging sites near Khabarovsk, but now most of them work at building sites here." City officials expect around 3,000 more North Koreans to arrive.But they are getting stripped of their hard-earned money by the regime. They are sent to Vladivostok by North Korean companies tasked with raising foreign currency and must send a set portion of their earnings back to the North. When their three- to five-year contracts expire, they return home.One South Korean resident in Russia said, "Even in winter, when there is no work, North Korean workers are threatened by their government minders, who extort money by telling them it is up to them whether they want to stay in Russia or go back to the North and starve."