◆ People even take out a mortgage on their house and sell their household goods in order to get their hands on methamphetamine

The reporting partner from Ryanggang Province was surprised by the reality of methamphetamine trafficking after interviewing a police officer he knew.

“When the police entered the house of a trafficker that they had arrested in Hyesan, they found a lot of things the trafficker had taken as collateral, including household goods from other people's houses, clothes, and three TV sets. They even found a ‘residence certificate’ for a house.”

A ‘residence certificate’ is a proof of residence registration and is akin to a deed in North Korea. In North Korea, houses are state-owned and cannot be sold, so the ‘residence certificates’ are traded among people. One can only assume that the cost of methamphetamine is so high that people need to mortgage their house to pay for it.

◆ The police don’t arrest skinny drug addicts as “they will die anyway”

A reporting partner explained, “Methamphetamine users are often found in an emaciated condition, just skin and bones and no household goods when the safety officer goes to arrest them. ‘There’s no point in arresting people who are going to die anyway, so we sometimes just leave them there and go back,’ a safety officer told me. No wonder the authorities are having a hard time dealing with them.”

In addition, it is also reported that there is a lot of fraudulent behavior among dealers. Some of the dealers buy large amounts of methamphetamine from wholesale traffickers, promising to pay later, and then sell it at retail, but never pay for it. One dealer confessed to having been scammed, and a number of such people had been caught, says the reporting partner.

Kim Jong-un's regime is not watching from the sidelines and doing nothing while methamphetamine and drug crimes are being committed. Rather, they are responding much more aggressively than they did during the Kim Jong-il era. So, in order to avoid detection, dealers pretend to trade masks and cut holes in the edges of masks to put methamphetamine inside them.