“Anti-Drug Campaigns Expanding”: Rodong Sinmun in Translation

By | February 13, 2012 | 4 Comments

Just as we’re having a discussion here at SinoNK.com and at Aujourd’hui en Chine about the growing methamphetamine [冰毒/빙두] problem in North Korea,  right on cue the Rodong Sinmun issues the following commentary on “anti-drug campaigns” in the developing world.  While the North continues to dismiss claims about drug manufacturing and abuse in the DPRK, the author expounds on the physical and economic toll resulting from drug use and characteristically blames the US and the “imperialists” for this global problem. A quick read-behind-the-lines suggests that the article’s intent is to address the North’s growing drug problem in that typical North Korean-backhanded style, thus lending credence to some of the reporting and commentary on the issue.  – Joe Litt and Charles Kraus

Jin Chul [진철],  ”Anti-Drug Campaigns Expanding ,” [광범히 벌어지는 반마약투쟁/大范围展开的反毒斗争], Rodong Sinmun [Worker’s Daily/劳动新闻, February 10, 2012.  Translated by Joe Litt, Yonsei University.

Drugs undermine humanity mentally and physically and cause all manner of crimes and illegal activities. Like malignant tumors, they have an enormous effect on the soundness of the construction of a new society [새 사회건설], the state, and normal development.

They pose a threat to the existence of human society and severely harm the progress of civilization [문명발전]. According to recent data, drug smuggling activities annually result in 2 trillion US dollars worth of losses to the global economy.

During the period 2008-2009, the drug trade was worth around 352 billion US dollars. These massive sums of drug money are being circulated through the world’s major banks.

The criminals who propagate drugs globally and give rise to serious drug problems are none other than the imperialists.

For a long time [drugs] have been the primary weapon [by which the imperialists] open the gates to plunder and invasion of other countries, and [the imperialists] have used [drugs] as a means to accumulate wealth [재부축적] and bring [themselves] material prosperity [물질번영].

The US, which bears the title of a drug criminal [마약범인감투를 들씌우던 미국], is all too ready to take the lead in legalizing drug funding while experiencing great humiliation before the world.

According to data, one American bank was found to be money-laundering 370 billion US dollars worth of illegal funds from drug dealers, which was disclosed as [the banks] were immersed in keeping [those] businesses afloat. Another two American banks disclosed that they had accepted money from drug dealers.

Rampant drug criminals do not just severely threaten the economy, but also human lives. Every year, roughly 200 thousand people die because of drug [use]. The number of people currently using drugs has reached several hundred million people globally.

Drugs make people depraved and turn them into vegetables [식물인간]. Drug usage spreads transmittable diseases like AIDS and hepatitis, evoking social criticism.

Many countries in the world know well the current situation and the dangers and are taking positive steps to deal with this.

From the start of the year, many countries are strengthening the campaign [투쟁] to tackle drug smuggling and black-market dealings. This past January, Iranian police in many provinces launched anti-drug operations and in the process seized over 10 tons of various drugs and arrested 38 people for drug-related crimes.

Anti-drug police in one country [어느 한 나라] sized 340 kilograms-worth of drugs at the beginning of the year. This is equivalent to 1/10th of the total amount of drugs seized [in that country] during 2011.

By the start of the year, this state had already uncovered 37 cases of criminals engaged in illegal drug dealing—including 10 cases of drug smuggling—and destroyed 4 drug dens [마약소굴].

In Columbia as well, 17 cocaine processing facilities were uncovered and destroyed, 692 kilograms worth of cocaine were seized, and ten people were arrested last January during the course of anti-drug operations in that country’s southern region. From the start of the year until now, developing countries have seized several tons of various drugs and have killed or arrested many drug criminals.

Today, the international community treats drug criminals as some of the most serious types of criminals.

Around ten developing countries prescribe that drug- and pharmaceutical-related criminals be given the highest punishment: the death penalty. The death penalty is not just applied to citizens of those countries, but also to foreigners.

Many developing countries execute without mercy foreign criminals who enter the country and commit drug crimes.

Measures are also being taken to eliminate the places where drugs originate [마약생산근원지].

In South and Central America, measures are being taken to prevent the cultivation of coca leaves, which are used to manufacture cocaine.

As the days go by, developing countries are furiously preparing anti-drug campaigns to protect the health of the people and society, achieve normal economic development, and root out the drug criminals planted by the imperialists [제국주의자들이 남겨놓은 마약범죄].

By Jin Chul [진철]

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4 Comments

  1. So according to NTDTV, it was China who encouraged North Korea to proceed with its nuclear program to spite the Americans? So all the six-party talks and the condemnation in which North Korea’s nuclear test was called “a brazen act” were just a charade and a vicious plot to keep the Americans busy? Wow. NTDTV as a source? What next? RFA? VOA? Come on!

    China’s relations with North Korea is akin to America’s relations with Pakistan. Despite the latter causing problems here and there for the former, the former has to keep propping up the latter for bigger and better things. It is that simple. Of course those frantically anti-CCP idiots don’t get it.

  2. This site does interesting work on China, but it draws far too many conclusions (and far too confidently) about NK media behavior without the proper historical/precedent-based contextualization. In order to say anything about what a particular NK public communication means, you need to compare it against the norm. In this case, how does the party daily Rodong Sinmun typically discuss worldwide drug trends?

  3. Fan Xiao, thanks for the high levels of doubt (not to say scorn!) poured on the television source. I’m not actually terribly familiar with NTDTV and the question of bias; actually would be more comfortable with an Al Jazeera report on the matter (they have done work in the DPRK before, quite an extensive investigation of BW accusations during the Korean War). It would be nice if there were some kind of media index for East Asia; David Badurski does amazing work in Hong Kong’s China Media Project but it seems quite focused on evaluating mainland media trends rather than global coverage of Asia, of which criticism is also needed.

  4. We also don’t have a “Public Editor” for the website, so a post exclusively ripping into various factual and analytical errors you see anywhere here could be a nice form of peer review, after all! Not to tire you out with commenting, sometimes a short essay that gets to one or two core issues (with a handful of offending examples) can be a kind of tocsin, or tonic.

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