North Korea using crystal meth to keep exhausted population working

Jordan Bhatt
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Kim Jong-un's regime in North Korea is turning blind eye to the trade of crystal meth inside the hermit nation.

While almost all parts of North Korean life is highly restricted and controlled, it appears that officials are profiting from the manufacture and sale of crystal methamphetamine, the powerful and addictive stimulant.

Trending: North Korea using crystal meth to keep exhausted population working

According to experts, the drug is now highly prevalent in North Korea and comes at a time when the economy is being squeezed.

Stephen Nagy of the International Christian University in Tokyo, told NineNews that, "most South Korean studies based on interviews with defectors say that about 30 percent of the population are using some kind of drug."

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Many of the drugs are coming from the Chinese border province of Liaoning, but while in China the use of heroin is high, it is crystal meth that is booming in North Korea.

Dr Nagy said: "North Korea manufactures drugs for export to earn hard currency. It accepts some of the surplus to filter into the population.

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"Second, the stimulants keep the fatigued population energetic enough to continue working to meet the regime's demands including agricultural production etc."

Smugglers who attempt to get the drugs into North Korea can do so with relative ease when they travel across the bridge over the Yalu River.

It is here that a border checkpoint checks what vehicles come in and out of the country, but of the hundreds of lorries that enter the nation, only a small fraction are inspected.

North Korea's economy has been squeezed considerably with two rounds of UN sanctions which received the backing from allies including Russia and China.

These sanctions have cut around a third of all exports the country makes and have also limited the amount of oil it receives from China.

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