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2010/10/27  Kim Hyeon-kyeong
Drug Users Face Firing Squad

- The People’s Safety Agency issue a declaration entitled “The Crackdown on Drug Use”
- A reflection of the growing number of drug users, including juveniles
- The crackdown is focused only on meth, not opium or marijuana

According to a source in Hamkyungbuk-do, a declaration entitled “The Crackdown on Drug Use” was issued in Hoeryung (Hamkyungbuk-do) by the People’s Safety Agency. The declaration was posted on the window of a busy store and states that ‘any drug users will face a firing squad should they be caught. The declaration has been issued throughout the nation, the source said.

It is the first time that the North Korean government has announced a crackdown on drug users, although the sentencing of drug producers and traders has occurred before. The declaration reflects that the number of drug users has dramatically increased.

According to the source, “meth is mostly produced in Hamheung, Hamkyungnam-do. Recently, even middle school students are openly using meth, which is called ‘ice’ or ‘빙두’ among North Koreans.”

The source commented on the cause of the increasing number of drug users: “this is because North Koreans have lost hope and are depressed by the reality that they are living. They would rather be happy under the influence of drugs.”

“The government will crack down on the use of meth in North Korea. They do not consider opium and marijuana to be drugs,” the source added.

The North Korean government has never controlled the use of opium or marijuana. Rather, they encouraged opium farms on abandoned land in order to earn foreign currency. Marijuana is cultivated along railroad tracks across the nation because it holds the railroads tight, with its deep roots, and contains oils that can be used for industrial purpose. Many gardeners grow opium in their own gardens to be used as a treatment for colitis or diarrhea.

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