Sunday, January 25, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Breaking bad in North Korea

By
From page A6 | August 27, 2013 |

The issue: Political tension is more likely to increase than decrease with addictions

In addition to its manifold other problems, North Korea has a growing drug problem, with an estimated 40 to 50 percent of the population in the country’s far north “seriously addicted” to crystal meth.

THE FIGURES, QUOTED in The Wall Street Journal, come from the scholarly journal North Korea Review, edited by academics in South Korea and the United States. The Review insists that North Korea is experiencing a “drug epidemic.”

If it’s true, we’re unlikely to hear about it from the North Korean government, which, except in those periodic episodes where its population is in danger of starving to death, insists that all is well in the earthly paradise created by three generations of the Kim family.

However, the South Korean government, which can be relied on in these matters, says there is a high rate of drug dependency and abuse, particularly with prescription sleeping medication, among North Korean defectors.

The Journal says the Review story is the first attempt “to put a number on how widespread the use of crystal meth has become.”

THE METH EPIDEMIC, if that’s what it truly is, would be another example of an egregious North Korean agricultural plot gone slightly awry.

According to the Journal, throughout the 1990s the regime of Kim Jong Il encouraged the growth of opium poppies for black-market sale to foreign countries, particularly China, for hard currency. Inevitably, opium use began to spread among the North Korean population.

But the opium crop, like much else of North Korean agriculture, was wiped out by the droughts of the mid-2000s. Somehow, crystal meth became the go-to drug for generating hard currency.

THE EXPORT-LEVEL production of crystal meth would suggest some government involvement simply because the chemicals involved — ephedrine/pseudoephedrine, phosphorus and iodine — are not readily available to the average impoverished North Korean.

That the Chinese would be party to the sale of crystal meth, or any illicit narcotic, by a foreign power is puzzling because the Opium Wars of the mid-19th century are a sensitive chapter of Chinese history. The British fought two wars to force open the Chinese market to opium grown by British companies in India.

In any case, North Korean foreign policy is nutty enough without having to deal with people who are either on a crystal meth high or coming down hard from one.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Winter produce available at Sutter market

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Donations to be distributed during homeless count

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Speaker will share computer security tips

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

    Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Davis, Woodland are saving water

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

    Words and Music Festival events

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

     
    Caring for the aging mouth

    By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

     
    Family isn’t keen on relationship

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

    We have the right to choose

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    We don’t have to suffer

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    City helped immensely

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

     
    Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

    By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

    When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

     
    From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    .

    Sports

    Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD men take two tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

     
    Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8