PYONGYANG, North Korea - One of the top North Korean defectors has revealed that the country is depended on the drugs industry - claiming that residents of the elusive nation are hooked on a state supply of opium.
According to Kim Hyeong-soo, who escaped Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship in 2009, North Korea is trading opium.
Hyeong-soo, who worked for the Longevity Institute, which is the North Korean government’s top secret research body has said that locals are getting hooked to the drug.
The defector was quoted in reports as saying, “Kim Il-sung gave an internal decision to party officials that they should support the opium industry. But they couldn't call them opium manufacturers, so they used a code name or terminology; they called it White Flowers. It's very accessible even to the general public. The North Korean government initiated the illegal drugs, but now it's expanded to the general market.”
He further revealed, “A lot of the people within the manufacturing industry would actually steal one or two grams because it's the equivalent of their month's salary. Because there is no medication available a lot of people would use opiates as a painkiller, so they would take it orally or intravenously."
He added that the medicine donated by South Korea and the international community to North Korea was seized by the regime - that then sold it at extortionate prices.
This left people with little access to conventional pain relief.
The defector, who was first interviewed by Daily Star said, “Tuberculosis was a disease that was going on in North Korea and the medication that was given by South Korea and the international community was sold on the black market. For one month’s worth, it would cost the equivalent of what a laborer would make in five years. So, of course, I have seen a lot of my relatives having children that would die of tuberculosis."
He also alleged that the government had been using these funds to further its nuclear ambitions and fuel the weapons program.
He added, “I can literally say that North Korea is just a big criminal site where Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un have taken 25 million people hostage."
Previously, Hyeong-soo had claimed that Kim Jong Un once ate a lion’s penis to make him better in the sack.
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