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S. Korea Paper: North Has Meth, Hooker Problem

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So if you thought the fake phone factory was bad enough, let alone the appeal to defectors, you may have to do a double-take. A journal entitled North Korea Review published a report that claimed rampant prostitution, human trafficking and drug abuse are happening throughout North Korea. The regime blames these conditions entirely on the influence of capitalism, if you can believe it.

The Wall Street Journal refers to a study published in the review called “A New Face of North Korean Drug Use: Upsurge in Methamphetamine Abuse Across the Northern Areas of North Korea” that describes similar conditions as the U.S. finds itself experiencing regarding the methamphetamine scourge.

North Korea released no confirmed numbers regarding the quantity of drug use going on, but the WSJ notes that this would not be the first time the cash-strapped regime had been busted with narcotics. For at least the last 20 years of Kim Jong-il’s regime, opium fields were common, but those were quickly replaced by meth labs.

The study’s co-author, Kim Seok-hyang, has said that a vast quantity of people in North Korea have “experienced using ice [crystal meth] and not just once… I estimate that at least 40% to 50% are seriously addicted to the drug.” Indeed, some refugees who fled North Korea have claimed that the substance is completely nonaddictive.A former Unification Ministry official and lecturer at Ewha Womans University, Prof. Kim, explains why they say they can’t be addicted: all they need to do to quit is “is sleep all day long, for three or four days.”

A second study published in the same journal also claimed that North Korean defectors are embracing a kind of self-medication involving self-diagnosis without the help of experts and abuse of prescription medications such as sleeping pills.

With regard to the prostitution, The ChosunIlbo reported one source as saying that North Korean prostitutes of the past only hung out at military bases, but now women are turning to the street in record numbers. Even college-aged North Korean youth are turning tricks.

The girls are spending their money in a variety of ways, from putting groceries on the table to buying smartphones and paying for expensive weddings, and North Korean officials aren’t afraid to frequent the streetwalkers. Open-air markets near the North Korean border in China are finding that condoms are their bestselling items, and a defector who used to be an official with the North Korean Worker’s Party spoke of the results following a physical exam for drafted 16 year-old girls that claimed 60 percent of the girls were ‘sexually experienced.’

S. Korea Paper: North Has Meth, Hooker Problem
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