Kim Kuk-song was a top spy for North Korea before defecting to the South and he now has revealed how a crystal meth lab was made to manufacture drugs to make money and fund the leader’s lavish lifestyle
An ex-North Korean spy has told how he helped build a crystal meth lab for trafficking drugs and make money for the country in crisis due to a famine, it is reported.
Kim Kuk-song defected to South Korea in 2014 after spending 30 years as a snoop in the north and working his way up to become an intelligence chief.
He now claims that he was told to make crystal meth during a terrible famine from 1994 to 1998 in North Korea that was called the “Arduous March”.
Kim told the BBC that under orders from the then Korean leader Kim Jong-il he set up a production line for the drug also known as ice.
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He said: “The production of drugs in Kim Jong-il’s North Korea peaked during the Arduous March.
“At that time, the Operational Department ran out of revolutionary funds for the Supreme Leader.
“After being assigned to the task, I brought three foreigners from abroad into North Korea, built a production base in the training centre of the 715 liaison office of the Workers’ Party, and produced drugs.”
The money made from making the drugs then went to fund the leader’s extravagant lifestyle while thousands died in the famine, claimed Kim.
It has been previously reported that North Korea made methamphetamines during the 1990s and 2000s through exporting drugs before the country began to bring it to a halt – it led to the trade continuing illegally.
North Korea is now believed to have a significant problem with drug use among its population with people taking crystal meth on a regular basis, or even giving it as presents for example for lunar new year which is one of the most important holidays in the country.
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Its popularity is down to it being easy to come by and also can be used to suppress hunger.
After Kim left the north he worked for the intelligence service in South Korea.
Now looking back he told the BBC that the North Korean leadership was desperate to make money however they could especially during the famine and this meant being willing to smuggle drugs or sell weapons in the Middle East and Africa.