Kuwait tells AP: North Korean workers welcome amid crisis

FILE- In this Tuesday, July 25, 2017 photo, Korean waitresses play music at the Pyongyang Okryu-Gwan North Korean Restaurant in Dubai, United Arab Emi

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Stalwart U.S. ally Kuwait says it will continue to grant visas to North Korean laborers whose wages allegedly aid Pyongyang in evading international sanctions.

That's according to a government statement sent to The Associated Press on Thursday before its ruler travels to Washington to meet President Donald Trump.

Kuwait also says it never stopped issuing work visas for North Koreans, refuting a major U.S. State Department human trafficking report released in June that applauded the Mideast nation for taking steps to limit their presence.

Experts and analysts say the money earned by workers in the Gulf helps Pyongyang build the missiles it now uses to threaten the U.S. territory of Guam, as well as other parts of the U.S. and America's Asian allies.