Though the North Korean government would never admit to outsiders that there is a drug problem in the country, the Daily NK has filed many reports over the past several years about this phenomena, suggesting that “bingdu” (what the North Koreans call meth) is available practically at epidemic levels inside the DPRK.
Quotes from defectors and sources who spoke to the Daily NK report that anywhere from ¼ to ½ of the population in North Korea are using the drug. And as reported by Isaac Stone Fish in Newsweek, bingdu is often taken as a replacement for medicine in the DPRK.
Recent unconfirmed reports state that Chinese aid (in the form of rice and crude oil) has been sent to the DPRK. It cannot please Chinese officials, however, to see the North Koreans reciprocate the gesture by sending meth into Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces.
This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at SINO-NK