Due to China’s protest, North Korea’s drug production facility partly closed

[imText1] Several well-known sources relayed on the 20th that China had strongly protested the large amounts of North Korean-made illegal drugs that flow across the border between the two nations. China requested Pyongyang shut down the Heungnam Pharmaceutical Manufacturer in Hamheung.

Following suit, the North Korean government authorities are known to have locked out that factory which was used to produce Bingdu (the alias for “ice” – which is classified in the category of Philopon in North Korea).

A source said, “China’s judicial authorities are strongly coping with the situation by imposing three years of penal servitude to those who sell 10g of Bingdu or a penalty of 20,000 yuan. When North Korea demonstrated a lax response, China expressed strong discontent.”

In North Korea, the Nanam Pharmaceutical Manufacturer in Chongjin, North Hamkyung is famous as a representative drug manufacturing company. The source stated that Hamheung, which has recently risen as a drug production base, had weak means of living which produced the highest number of deaths during the 90s’ mass starvation, and the stimulant “Ice” was also misused in the region due to the lack of medical products.

$3,000 per kilogram…dealt for $10,000 at the border

An internal source said, “During the March of Suffering, some citizens who sold raw materials and factory equipment also earned big money by selling drugs. Since then, everyone has followed the trend. The people in Hamheung started handling drugs with great ambition due to the fact that at the Heungnam Pharmaceutical Manufacturer was available and that the prime cost for making a kilogram of Bindu was $3,000 dollars and the profit exceeded $5,000.”

The source said, “In the past, people touched drugs hoping to make a big fortune with a single swoop, but everyone is thinking about making money by selling drugs nowadays. Inevitably, the number of civilians who have become ‘ice’ addicts has significantly increased.”

Ice can be produced for $3,000 per kilogram and sold on site for $7-8,000 and at the border region where smuggling is possible, it can be sold for up to $10,000.

Another source said, “Civilians have become bedazzlement by the dream of making a jackpot with drugs. So, they have gone to the border region carrying drugs and seeking dealers. However, ingeniously manufactured fakes have also been making a wave.”

In North Korea, as drug sales have been unyielding, it was known that the number of teenagers who are coming into contact with “ice” are not only serious in Hamheung but in all regions. They are not showing immediate signs of addiction, but they can be presumed as “high-risk” people for addiction.

North Korean businessman Mr. Kim, who is engaging in trade between North Korea and China, wore a sorry expression on his face when he said, “Nowadays, children who are not yet fully grown use ‘ice.’ Not too long ago, my friend’s 12-year old son was found while secretly using his father’s ‘ice.’ After severely beating him, the father asked, “Do you like ‘ice’ so much? The son responded, ‘it is a cure-all.’”

In the mid-1990s, due to deteriorated medical facilities and a shortage of medical supplies, citizens started to depend on folk remedies. Civilians who started using ‘ice’ to replace cold medicines ended up starting to use it as emergency medicine for diverse things like even strokes.

Mr. Kim said, “Ice has a stimulant quality, so it is used as a stress-releaser. Even children have come to regard it as a panacea and think that a little suck of ice will instantly get rid of pain and make one refreshed.”

Narcotic squads hardly have any strength

The North Korean authorities issued a narcotics decree in March of last year to prevent drug abuse. It has even issued the threat of putting parties related to drug deals to death. However, businesses that have earned money through drugs feed bribes to inspection organs, so sources said that these institutions can exert no strength.

One domestic source said, “Recently, a Central Party inspection group was organized in Shinuiju and came forward to regulate drugs, but authorities such as the National Security Agency, the National Security Office, and others have become implicated. However, exposing them in increasing measures makes punishment difficult, because complicit individuals can come forward in hordes.”

Drug sellers in the border region have divided left-over profits with participating National Security officers. The source said, “If a drug dealer is arrested, if back-money is given, even the ring-leader will be immediately released.”

The source also said that upper-class drug inspection groups can instantly become conspirators due to the high amount of confiscated money they are supposed to hand over to their superiors.

Questions or comments about this article? Contact us at dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.