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Why Does North Korea Have A Big Meth Problem?
Politics|Dec 4, 2017

Why Does North Korea Have A Big Meth Problem?

From The Outside Kim Jong-un's Decisions Make Him Look Like A Madman.
Sean Bruce

Donald Trump recently announced at the United Nations General Assembly that America may need to “totally destroy” North Korea if the rogue state continues to be a threat to world peace. 

We've grown used to this kind of brash sabre-rattling from one of the world's leading narcissists and, as usual, not only does it underscore his juvenile grasp of the language in which he claims to know "the best words", but shows that the biggest threat to "world peace" continues to be him. 

But I digress. While it’s clear that US aggression and military ambition is a source of pride, power and global hegemony for the Americans, it’s harder to understand the mindset of the North Korean administration. One wonders what Kim Jong-un could be thinking when he prods the world with his nuclear footballs. Is it a simple case of small-man syndrome? Or is it out of fear that he’ll lose his grip on the country his family has terrorised for three generations? It’s difficult to say — until you realise, that he may be, along with the rest of the North Korean population, balls deep in a non-stop meth bender. 

Yes, Kim Jong-un may well be the chubby Asian equivalent of Ben Cousins, armed with nuclear warheads. 

According to Stephen Nagy of the International Christian University in Tokyo, about 30 per cent of the North Korean population is using some kind of drug, with methamphetamine, or ice, being the most popular choice. It’s long been known that the Hermit Kingdom has been ‘breaking bad’ in the drug game — manufacturing and exporting large quantities of extremely high-quality methamphetamine to places like China and the United States to raise funds for the ailing administration during periods of intense economic sanctions.

Kim Jong-un is the chubby Asian equivalent of Ben Cousins, armed with nuclear warheads. 

But a decline in seizures across the North-eastern Chinese border and reports from the US State Department that “there have been no confirmed reports of large-scale drug trafficking involving DPRK state entities since 2004” seem to indicate that large-scale manufacturing of the drug for export has practically ceased. Which doesn’t mean the locals aren’t still grinding their jaws to get their hands on the highly addictive chemical substance. Despite state-sanctioned meth production apparently ending, copycat operations run by local chemists have been popping up to provide for a heavily addicted local market. 

According to defectors, up to 80 per cent of people in certain towns use locally produced methamphetamine. The drug is used to “deal with the exhausting labour conditions, for ‘recreation’ and escapism”, according to Nagy, and it’s “easier to come by than rice” one refugee told the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights. 

While the starving, flyblown working class of North Korea are most likely using ice to maintain their energy levels and ward off hunger, reports suggest that the upper echelons of the Pyongyang elite also indulge recreationally and for dieting purposes. Sort of like the heroin-chic fashion models of the early ’90s — with (even) more psychotic episodes.

The long-term negative effects of ice abuse, according to an online government drug resource include, “anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances and violent behaviour… paranoia… and delusions”. The sorts of traits that certainly don’t bode well for an already hyper-insular, totalitarian state with no ties to the outside world and little to nothing in the area of drug rehabilitation. 

It also goes a long way in explaining Kim Jong-un’s erratic and irresponsible behaviour of late. Historical records show that towards the end of WWII, Hitler was heavily addicted to multiple substances, meth among them. Maybe it’s the same situation in Pyongyang right now: Kim Jong-un isn’t crazy or stupid — he’s just really fucking high.