North Korea Meth – Newsweek

North Korea's Meth Export



Yanji is a desolate city 50 miles from the river border between China and North Korea. With its Stalinist architecture and tile-clad buildings, it could be Anywhere, China. But on closer inspection, cross-border influence is signaled by the Korean-language signs, Korean coffee shops, and Korean karaoke bars that are dotted around the city. It is a place that is home to refugees, smugglers, prostitutes, opportunists, and evangelical Christians in the market for lost souls.

Over the past decade and a half, methamphetamine—known colloquially as crystal meth or ice because of its flaky crystals—has flooded Yanji and the wider Jilin province, fueled by an underground economy, border transients, and the general poverty and desperation of the region.

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