Hi I’m Brian Wiklendt and I am lead counsel with Garfinkel Schwartz.
I’m giving a Civilian Contractor Update North Korea 2018 to our contractor friends in terms of what’s going on for the New Year.
Who is Garfinkel Schwartz? We are a fourth generation Defense Base Act law firm based in Florida but we help contractors worldwide.
Civilian Contractor Update North Korea 2018
I’ve done this kind of civilian contractor story for several years and what I’d like to do is again explain what we have researched and discovered about North Korea and how the conflicts in the South China Sea could affect the civilian contractors called to go over there.
From Florida to the World
The Garfinkel Schwartz office, the main office, is in Maitland, Florida, which is a suburb of Orlando. But we work with people around the world. It doesn’t matter where you are because we use Skype, FaceTime, e-mail, video conference to talk with you. Just call us at 800-393-2999 and tell us your name and how to best reach you.
We’ve met so many people that speak different languages here and it almost feels like I’m skirting across the globe. This is what I tend to do because we represent people from other countries and all across America. We’re not limited to representing people in Florida and I travel to clients everywhere.
Biggest Threat North Korea
Let’s just start with the biggest threat North Korea which is obviously, in my opinion, the most important thing to talk about.
I’m going to talk about the list of places that U.S. troops are currently located which means that usually speaking, up to three times the amount of troops end up being supported by local overseas contractors.
3-to-1 Contractors to Troops
So if there are 10,000 troops in a spot, you’re going to assume that there’s going to be 30,000 overseas contractors. Contractors are who we help when they get injured in some way and they have to come back home for treatment.
I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about North Korea through the president and what the leader of North Korea has been doing and threatening against the United States.
What you need to know about North Korea is they’ve been testing missiles from 2016 and all throughout 2017 and obviously there’s a that’s a big alarm system that comes off and everyone is kind of ready and waiting to see what happens.
So these things are serious and I take them very seriously. Of the 23 total missile launches, four that North Korea have done have failed. Others have succeeded to the point that they’ve hit a radius outside the Korean peninsula.
North Korea 10-16 Nuclear Weapons
It’s estimated that North Korea has 10 to 16 nuclear weapons at their disposal. For your information this area where they’re testing these missiles includes Japan and Guam. Guam is U.S. territory and U.S. Navy vessels operating on the Pacific Ocean.
1.2 Million Troops
North Korea has a massive military force of 1.2 million troops and actually most of the citizens that live there have to serve in the military at some point.
North Korea is also very poor. Its people are starved. They have no basic human and civil rights in that country and the people are controlled by the military which causes North Korea to be a very volatile potential adversary to the United States.
As of December 13, 2017, according The Voice of America and The Washington Post, 58 U.S. military officials urged against military action in North Korea.
But on December 20, 2017, The Guardian reported that South Korea in order to cease tensions due to the pending Olympic Games suggested that it not carry out military drills in the United States and in South China Sea. That doesn’t mean that we’re not in danger for the future.
North Korea Threats
North Korea keeps pushing and threatening and testing missiles despite UN Security Council requests to cease and despite suggested meetings with the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as of last week.
December 21, 2017, according to Reuters a North Korean soldier encroached on South Korean borders in what’s described as a defection meaning that the borders are very volatile right now.
Our favorite resource is the Global Conflict Tracker which I’ve mentioned over the last couple of years. I’ve used that since 2015 to to gather information to help overseas contractors.
South Korea according to the Global Conflict Tracker has 630,000 troops ready near North Korea in case something comes up.
Right now the Global Conflict Tracker reports that the United States has more than 23,000 troops in North Korea and in South Korea getting ready for combat in North Korea.
More Contractors Than Troops
And we’d like to reiterate that our civilian contractors that we’ve talked to in terms of our research tell us it’s now probably even closer to a 4-to-1 ratio than a 3-to-1 ratio in terms of the number of overseas contractors vs. the number of military troops that will be needed in the North Korean Conflict should it arise at some point in 2018.
High Demand for Civilian Contractors
We know from talking to our clients that there’s a very high demand for civilian contractors around the world and overseas in high-risk danger zones including Korea.
We hope you never have to face an injury but if you’re traveling to one of the dangerous zones that I’ve described including the Korean Conflict you need to be prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.
You’re Covered Under the Defense Base Act
You need to know what process to follow that you’re covered under the Defense Base Act and that you’re physically if you’re physically or mentally harmed you need to know what options you have because a lot of times the employers are not going to tell you what your options are especially under U.S. federal law even if you’re not an American citizen.
Again I’m Brian Wiklendt lead counsel with Garfinkel Schwartz. I’m available any time day or night to talk to you. And good luck in your future endeavors. Stay safe and be prepared for the New Year and I look forward to talking to you about anything any troubles you might run into, that’s what I’m here for.