Kim Bong-un: North Korea Reportedly Manufacturing Tons Of Meth

After the UN imposed new coal sanctions on North Korea, the country has turned to illegal drugs production for an economic boost.

Kim Jong Un

STR/AFP/Getty Images

After the United Nations Security Council imposed stricter sanctions on North Korea in response to the country’s latest missile launches, Kim Jong-un’s government is responding in the only logical way:

Selling crystal meth.

According to the DailyNK, the main English-language source following the DPRK, state-run companies have begun manufacturing illicit drugs to make up for the money that North Korea is now losing on coal.

“North Korean state companies and merchants have been waiting for the export markets to re-open ever since sanctions began having a significant impact in February this year,” said a South Pyongan Province source, according to the South Korean based news source. “But now trade has been shut down for the coal exporters due to the country’s missile launches, and they are turning to drug production and smuggling as a replacement.”

Now, the regime is reportedly pulling a “Breaking Bad” and ramping up its crystal meth production. It’s clear that the government okayed the business move because it’s “generally thought to be impossible” to deal drugs in North Korea without Kim Jong-un knowing about it.

In an oddly candid way, the government sources told the Daily NK that smuggling the drugs is super easy. The ingredients that make the drugs are disguised as flour and then snuck into North Korea through the customs office in Dandong, China.

“The base ingredient is smuggled in from China and then sold to producers in North Korea, who make the ‘ice’ (meth),” the source said. “When customs procedures become more stringent and it gets harder to bring paecho [the North Korean name for the base ingredient in meth] in through the customs office, the materials are acquired from the Pyongsong College of Science and sold on the black market.”

The institute sells the main ingredient in 440-pound drums for $10,000. This is like Costco for meth, since this stuff is usually sold in smaller quantities for higher prices.

This whole thing does sound morally wrong, but at least it’s better than North Korea’s other new money-making scheme: selling slaves to Russia.

If we survive the next few months without getting blown apart in a nuclear war, it should be interesting to see how this North-Korean-government-turned-drug-producer thing plays out.


Next, check out five of the craziest ways that people have been caught smuggling drugs. Then, discover how drugs like Pervitin fueled the rise and fall of the Nazis.

Annie Garau
Annie is a NYC-based writer. For tips, write to [email protected]
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