China is suffering from a major methamphetamine problem. Where is all this meth coming from?
The majority is making is way from North Korea and has been flood the area to the north east for years. Meth is a particular favorite of Chinese workers at electronics factories because it helps them stay away through endless shifts.
It has also become a trend with business men, Chinese celebrities, women who work online as Camgirls (web strippers) and karaoke hostesses.
They are calling this new dangerous habit “ice skating.”
There is just so much meth going around that it seems likely a production of this scale was organized by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
There is evidence that a secret component of Kim’s regime called Bureau 39 is responsible for the production of meth in order to obtain American currency.
From Daily Beast:
Poppy farms existed in North Korea in the 1970s, and the DPRK developed an opiate production program for export. But major floods and agricultural disasters devastated the crops. Switching to something that could be made in a lab quickly and in large quantities provided two benefits: It suited the regime’s need to raise large amounts of foreign currency, and domestic use of meth killed the actual, physical hunger of a starving population. Aside from narcotics and counterfeit currency, knockoff pharmaceuticals and cigarettes contribute to the illicit income of the DPRK. In all, Bureau 39’s illicit activities might be adding as much as $1 billion to Pyongyang’s coffers every year.
At home, North Koreans might see meth as something of a luxury. During Chuseok, a festival to give thanks for bountiful harvests that doubles in the North as a chance to offer bribes, beef and meth were popular gifts for officials.
The DPRK is hugely reliant on China. The two Peoples’ Republics have messy ties, but it’s one of the few meaningful relationships that the DPRK has. Beijing provides aid to Kim Jong-un, and traders from North Korea cross into China to conduct business. China is the Kim family’s backer on the world stage, propping up the hermit kingdom’s economy despite its belligerence.
North Korean meth used to be trafficked by DPRK officials, but after a series of scandals and subsequent denials, the practice of delivering drugs through diplomatic cargo was largely abandoned by the mid-1990s.