North Korea's Meth Sales to US Shows Why Sanctions are Worthless

40 per cent of North Korea’s foreign earnings come from illegal activities.


Sanctions don't work. They hurt ordinary people, but they do nothing to the regime. They didn't work in Iraq. They don't work in Iran. And they're not just useless in North Korea, they make the problem worse.

When a president doesn't want to do anything about a problem, he imposes sanctions. See Crimea, Russian Invasion of.

Crystal meth made in laboratories in North Korea is flooding the world's drugs market, with shipments ferried through China to distribute across the globe.

In the U.S. police officers have intercepted batches of the highly addictive drug, that were bound for New York after being produced in Kim Jong-un's Communist state.

In some parts of North Korea up to 50 per cent of the population are reported to be hooked. Parents even offer it to children to help them concentrate on their studies.

As one of the few commodities easily available, it is used for everything from treating colds to curbing hunger pangs during times of food shortages.

Experts say the North Korean government reportedly began producing meth in the 1990s to provide desperately-needed hard currency for the ruling elite.

Then it was exported, mostly to China, with reports of North Korean diplomats being sent abroad with their bags stuffed full with meth.

Experts estimate up to 40 per cent of North Korea’s foreign earnings now come from illegal activities.

Which is what happens when you impose sanctions. The black market takes off and causes worse problems for everyone. North Korea isn't just a nuclear hub. It's a meth hub.

An intelligent rule of thumb is that you either do something about a country. Or you don't. Imposing sanctions accomplishes little except to give the regime new ways to make money.