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N. Korea began mass crackdown on drug offenders last month: RFA

2017/04/02 15:43

SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) -- North Korea began a wide-spread crackdown on illegal use of drugs last month, while establishing a new detention facility dedicated toward narcotics offenders, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported Sunday.

RFA, citing Japan's Asia Press, an independent news outlet, said that North Korea's State Security Ministry launched a massive drug bust March 10.

According to Asia Press' sources based in North Hamgyong and Ryangang provinces, anyone with a drug record is being sent to disciplinary labor camps.

Those found to be carrying more than 1 kilogram of narcotics are subject to a minimum six months to a maximum one year, while those with more than 10 kilograms are being sent to special facilities, according to the report.

The RFA reported that North Korea has established a special facility dedicated to dealing with drug offenders. Drug offenders were previously handled through labor camps.

The U.S. Department of State said in the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released, in March, "Methamphetamine production and consumption appears to be relatively widespread within North Korea, supplied primarily by independent criminal entrepreneurs."

   odissy@yna.co.kr

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