Chinese textile firms are increasingly using North Korean factories to take advantage of cheaper labor across the border, traders and businesses in the border city of Dandong told Reuters.
The clothes made in North Korea are labeled "Made in China" and exported across the world, they said.
Using North Korea to produce cheap clothes for sale around the globe shows that for every door that is closed by ever-tightening U.N. sanctions another one may open. The UN sanctions, introduced to punish North Korea for its missile and nuclear programs, do not include any bans on textile exports.
Chinese exports to North Korea rose almost 30 percent to $1.67 billion in the first half of the year, largely driven by textile materials and other traditional labour-intensive goods not included on the United Nations embargo list, Chinese customs spokesman Huang Songping told reporters.
Chinese suppliers send fabrics and other raw materials required for manufacturing clothing to North Korean factories across the border where garments are assembled and exported.
Manufacturers can save up to 75 percent by making their clothes in North Korea, said a Chinese trader ...
All factories in North Korea are state-owned.
Chinese clothing manufacturers have been increasingly using North Korean textile factories even as they relocate their own factories offshore, including to Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia. [emphasis mine]
screengrab from video of North Koreans manufacturing "Made in China" ski wear. image source