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North Korea could turn to trafficking crystal meth to fund its weapons programs

January 19, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
North Korea could turn to trafficking crystal meth to fund its weapons programs

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North Korea may be on its way to becoming the world’s most prominent crystal meth dealer if the rogue state’s army of highly skilled hackers shift their talents to selling the deadly substance on the dark web, according to an expert on money laundering.

Kim Jong-un’s administration might attempt to imitate the Taliban in Afghanistan by dealing illegal drugs to the West to finance his cash-strapped government and avoid international sanctions, Loretta Napoleoni said.

The economist, who is also an expert on terrorism financing, believes that North Korea could quickly become the world’s largest generator of highly addictive meth.

By peddling the lethal drug through the dark web, which allows customers to remain anonymous and purchase illicit substances through eBay-style sites, the country could make millions to support its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, The Express in the UK reported.

In her new book, ‘North Korea, the Country We Love to Hate,’ Napoleoni said: “If in 2018 the economic sanctions begin to bite… the services that North Korean hackers could perform for their country is to offer access to the darknet to conduct illegal activities. Trade in crystal meth or methamphetamine, for example, is worth several billion dollars. It is easy to produce, and the biggest producer is situated in Myanmar, but a state actor like North Korea could rival such output.”

Kim’s regime is resorting to creative and desperate attempts to avoid a growing record of crippling sanctions targeted at isolating the rogue state and suppressing the funds it needs to continue to develop an arsenal of nuclear weapons.

Recent efforts by North Korean hackers include attacks on South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges and financial organizations.

The illegal cash is then sent back to Pyongyang through a shady system of banks, businesses and shell companies.

North Korea has a lengthy history of producing and exporting crystal meth.

In 2010, Chinese authorities confiscated $60million worth of the drug, which detectives believed was only a portion of the total it ships around the world.

However, in 2013, a report published by the U.S. state department determined that North Korea had stopped, or at least sharply diminished, its production of the drug.

In 2017, though, reports from South Korea indicated that the rogue state had reopened its labs.

In an interview, Napoleoni said: “I think if they are pushed to the corner they will use these kinds of instruments to survive.

Afghanistan is the globe’s largest exporter of heroin, and the Taliban is heavily engaged in the production and refining of the highly-addictive drug.

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