Plight of Kim Jong-un's secret slave army revealed in shocking footage

Some of the workers featured in the video.
Some of the workers featured in the video. Photo credit: BBC/Screenshot

The secret lives of Kim Jong-un's overseas slave army have been revealed in horrifying new footage.

An investigation by the BBC's Panorama programme discovered more than 150,000 North Koreans have been forced to work overseas, toiling in terrible conditions to earn money for the dictator.

Many are in China, Russia and Poland where they reportedly live and work in 'slave-like' conditions with no human rights protections.

One worker on a construction site in the Russian city of Vladivostok told journalists they were forced to work as part of their "revolutionary duty" to Mr Kim's regime.

"You're treated like a dog here. You have to eat dirt. You have to give up being human," he said. "Those who cannot pay it cannot stay here."

Others reported working without breaks or limits on their hours.

Polish construction management recorded on hidden cameras defended the practise, arguing "if they get anything, then that's a good thing".

"They get a glimpse of the world, and they get a few (Polish currency) zloty or a few dollars, and this probably helps the entire family," one said.

A former North Korean Deputy Ambassador to the UK, Thae Yong-ho, said the money is being spent on Mr Kim's nuclear weapons programme.

"Where did all that money go?" he told the BBC. "It financed the private luxury of the Kim family, the nuclear programme and the army. That's a fact."

A 2016 UN report suggested the overseas workers earned North Korea up to $2.4 billion a year.