Crackdowns have been a continual feature of reports emanating from inside North Korea since the public appearance of Kim Jong Eun last year; crackdowns covering defection, communicating with defectors and drug use etc, all apparently launched in the name of the successor and instilling fear in the people.
A source from Yangkang Province reported to The Daily NK on the 9th, “There was a people’s unit meeting last week about a renewed crackdown on drug use. A decree from comrade Kim Jong Eun was delivered in the meeting calling for the ‘tracking down of those who produce, sell or use ‘bingdu’ (methamphetamines, otherwise known as ‘ice’ or ‘crystal meth’) and their severe punishment’.”
The source went on, “Starting with Pyongsung and Hamheung where most of the drugs are produced, the winds of the drugs crackdown are blowing all around the country,” but added, “This one in particular will not be easily completed because bingdu is used by everyone from middle school students to housewives.”
According to other defectors and inside sources, the Yangkang Province source is correct; the drug problem in North Korea is widespread and serious, with every level of society from military officials and high level figures through ordinary adults and even teenagers using them. Therefore, it is even said that “Drugs will be the death of this country”.
As a result of its widespread use at all levels of society, it is further assumed that the drugs crackdown will not succeed irrespective of how hard Kim Jong Eun attempts to clamp down. As one source said, “If they don’t get rid of the cadres first, the crackdown will be of no use.”
Choi, who defected to South Korea in October, 2010, agreed, saying that, “No matter how many inspections they do, they cannot root out drug use. Where I used to live, everybody does bingdu. Given that even agents from the People’s Safety Agency, the agency charged with cracking down, and their wives are doing drugs, the drugs crackdown is completely futile.”
The Yangkang Province source further explained, “Almost every month the people’s unit holds a lecture and whenever they hold it, there is a part about ‘a decree from comrade Kim Jong Eun’ saying ‘Root out drugs’ or ‘Punish them severely,’ so people fear Kim Jong Eun.”
It has been reported that dozens of people in Hyesan alone have already been arrested in the crackdown.
The source added, “This year, they tell us of the greatness of Kim Jong Eun in every meeting, saying that all events held in North Korea are organized and led by him,” but said that people only complain.