Sankei took up an op-ed contributed to the New York Times by State Department Director of Policy Planning Brian Hook in which he asked China and Russia to no longer accept North Korean workers since they are used by the DPRK government as “slave labor” who raise as much as $230 million a year for the regime’s nuclear and missile development. The DOS official claimed that China and Russia are using thousands of North Korean laborers at mines, logging camps, construction sites, including soccer stadiums for the 2018 World Cup that Moscow plans to host. He also took issue with China’s deportation of North Korean defectors, arguing that the practice constitutes a violation of China’s legal obligation under the International Refugee Convention. The Japanese daily said the senior USG official’s op-ed piece was intended to press Beijing and Moscow to more rigorously enforce sanctions on Pyongyang. The evening edition of Monday’s Mainichi and several sports tabloids published a Kyodo piece on Hook’s article.