Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Widespread Crystal Meth Usage Reported In North Korea

Korean Crystal?

Image via: Sky News

With all the absurdity and insanity coming out of North Korea these days, you’d think (and hope) that things couldn’t get stranger. 

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case: defectors and experts on the totalitarian state have claimed that there’s a widespread drug epidemic in North Korea, with the most popular choice being methamphetamine.

You can make all the “Breaking Bad” jokes you want, but this really is a serious matter.

Here’s what Stephen Nagy, an academic from Tokyo’s International Christian University, has to say on the subject:

Most South Korean studies based on interviews with defectors say that about 30% of the population are using some kind of drug with the majority of those on crystal meth.

These drugs are used to deal with the exhausting labour conditions, for ‘recreation’ and escapism.  There are many reasons the regime turns a blind eye to the drug trade.

First, it manufactures drugs for export to earn hard currency. It excepts some of the surplus to filter into the population. Second, the stimulates keep the fatigued population energetic enough to continue working to meet the regime’s demands including agricultural production etc. Drugs are easier to come by than rice. Unless you’re a simple organism, you do drugs.

While some level of drug use is to be expected, especially in impoverished areas, Nagy’s figures are rather startling. And with the threat of nuclear war looming larger, it seems that this issue will fall to the wayside. For more information, check out this VICE article.

But if you’re looking for something slightly more positive, check out these photos that show a different side of North Korea.

Written By

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You May Also Like


What more could one ask for?


The Great Pyramids have always been a mystery. A place of enchantment filled with age-old stories of treasure and mummies. Recently, the Pyramids have...


Online forums and platforms offer community, but they also have a more sinister side.

TV & Film

Meet the satirist blurring the line between entertainment and reality...


Susan Meachen found out the hard way what could go wrong when faking your own death. Now one corner of the indie romance market...


Armchair detectives' motivations might be hitting too close to home.


'Long dogs' are the internet's latest obsession.


The rise and fall of the mysterious Church of Scientology.


Ethiopia is the only African country that isn’t colonized.


Lately I've been dressing for revenge.


Growing up, hearing the phrase ‘time goes more quickly as you get older’ is an almost universal experience. This poses the question, what is...