Drug Trafficking and North Korea: Issues for U.S. Policy
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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At least 50 documented incidents in more than 20 countries around the world, many involving arrest or detention of North Korean diplomats, link North Korea to drug trafficking. Such events, in the context of credible, but unproven, allegations of large scale state sponsorship of drug production and trafficking, raise important issues for the United States and its allies in combating international drug trafficking. The challenge to policy makers is how to pursue an effective counter drug policy and comply with U.S. law which may require cutting off aid to North Korea while pursuing other high-priority U.S. foreign policy objectives including 1 limiting possession and production of weapons of mass destruction 2 limiting ballistic missile production and export 3 curbing terrorism, counterfeiting, and international crime and 4 addressing humanitarian needs. As the DPRKs drug trade becomes increasingly entrenched, and arguably decentralized, analysts question whether the Pyongyang regime or any subsequent government would have the ability to restrain such activity, should it so desire. It remains clear, however, that regardless of the mix of DPRK criminal activities at any particular given point in time, income from DPRK criminal activity continues to play a pivotal role in overall DPRK finances.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law