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Meth Offered as Casually as Tea in North Korea

North Korea is the most isolated country in the world. For years it has remained mysterious and secluded under ruthless dictators. Not to mention it’s very rare to catch a glimpse of daily life in the country.

Reports say that about 50 of the adult population is addicted to crystal meth.

Barbara Demick, the Los Angeles Time Beijing Bureau Chief and author of “Nothing to Envy” has been following life in North Korea for more than a decade. Demick says that meth has been manufactured in North Korea for nearly 20 years.

“Many people have told me that you get it everywhere. People serve it at home instead of offering you a cup of tea they’ll say have a sniff,” Demick told Fusion Live. It has also been known that people suffering from a cold take meth as medicine.

Possession is tolerated in small quantities but dealing and trafficking are prone to the death penalty. Several shipments of the highly addictive drug have been seized in Australia and even New York City.

Demick said, “It seems now like the government has gone out of that business and it has been taken over by regular people.”

“There is a crackdown now on crystal meth but I think the reasons are not the same reasons as you would see in the West, the reason for crackdown is that people are distributing it as a private product and you know this is still a very socialist country. And I think one of the reasons theres such a meth trade is there’s not that much that people are able to manufacture and distribute for profit. It’s still ban to do with business,” says Demick.

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