Student registry highlights pervasive drug problem

Kim Chae Hwan  |  2017-02-27 15:42
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In Hoeryong City, North Hamgyong Province, the state has recently published a list of students alleged to have taken drugs and been involved in subsequent sexual acts, highlighting the increasing prevalence of drugs and societal implications of pornography smuggled into the country. 

"The Kim Ki Song High School held a general meeting for the parents of its students on February 5. It was led by the 620 Group, which is tasked with investigations of illegal drugs, video content, and prostitution. The primary purpose of the meeting was to release the names of students who have allegedly taken drugs and then engaged in sexual acts. Allegations were made against students involved in drugs and violence, and their punishments were announced, a source in North Hamgyong Province reported on February 22.

The fact that one in every six students [at the school] was taking drugs and thus subject to criminal punishment was highly emphasized. The student problem was labeled a pandemic and a threat to the future and fate of our country. Parents were urged to take a more active role in properly educating their children.

A large proportion of the students at Kim Ki Song High School, named after the younger brother of Kim Jong Il's birth mother Kim Jong Suk, are the offspring of donju (newly affluent middle class) or cadres. The authorities would typically try to cover up crimes committed by students, but it seems they have had no choice but to strongly address the problem.

Despite these efforts, the countrys drug issues are not likely to be resolved quickly. In North Korea, where drugs are being actively manufactured--and even exported by the state for foreign currency--children who witness their parents abusing drugs are naturally following in their footsteps. 

It has been reported that students who are seriously addicted to drugs are even stealing from their parents or engaging in business activities in order to purchase drugs.

"This cannot be solely blamed on the children, a source in Ryanggang Province said, noting that children whose parents take crystal meth at home are acutely susceptible to becoming addicts themselves. 

"These days in North Korea, everyone is taking drugs. Everyone is so familiar with it, they can discern the signs just by looking at someones eyes. 

*Translated by Yejie Kim
*Edited by Lee Farrand

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