The West has blockaded North Korea for a long time, trying to get them not to build nuclear weapons, so how have they survived? A North Korean official who defected in 1998 says they've been able to keep going by producing and selling heroin. The defector, who was hidden from view when he testified, told Congress the late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung ordered the effort to begin "in earnest'' in the late 1980s. He says, "Kim Il Sung told the people to earn hard currency by selling heroin and selling opium because he needed cash."
North Korea's drug smuggling came to light last month when the North Korean ship called the Pong Su was caught trying to deliver a 110-pound shipment of heroin, worth about $50 million, to a fishing boat off the south coast of Australia. The Senate was told that North Korea uses its diplomats and businessmen to carry out the drug trade, which also includes methamphetamines.
Senator Peter Fitzgerald (IL), chairman of the subcommittee for international security matters, says, "North Korea is essentially a crime syndicate with nuclear bombs.''
After 911 and the war on Iraq, it seems like there's danger everywhere.
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