Skip to main content

North Korea is a major opium producer, making it a prime target for the CIA

North Korea is starting to produce more opium in a bid to financially prop up its regime following Chinese sanctions on its coal exports. Will its increased opium production make it a target for the U.S. military? History suggests this may be the case.

by Whitney Webb

When the U.S. overthrew the Taliban in the wake of 9/11 as part of its newly launched “war on terror,” it set the stage for the explosive growth of Afghanistan’s dying opium industry. A few short months before the invasion took place, the Taliban made headlines for having “dramatically ended the country’s massive opium trade” after the leader of the fundamentalist group had declared the substance to be un-Islamic. At the time, Afghanistan’s opium was used to produce 75 percent of the world’s heroin.

But despite being squashed by the Taliban, the opium market made a dramatic comeback immediately following the U.S. invasion in October 2001. Not only was the opium trade restored, it surged drastically – rising from a production level of 185 tons under the Taliban (before the production ban) to 3,400 tons in 2002.

Over a decade later, the amount of opium harvested annually continues to rise. Afghanistan’s opium is now used to produce 90 percent of the world’s heroin. This increase has been directly overseen by U.S. forces, who openly guard Afghanistan’s poppy fields. Indeed, during that same time, the U.S. government claims to have spent $8.4 billion on counternarcotic programs within Afghanistan.

The dramatic increase in opium production in post-invasion Afghanistan has sparked speculation regarding the motives behind the aggressive action that the U.S. has recently taken towards North Korea, which is also a major opium producer.

While government-sanctioned opium production took a hit after Kim Jong-un assumed power in 2011, things have changed drastically in recent months, largely due to Chinese sanctions that were announced in mid-February. The sanctions, created in response to a North Korean ballistic missile test, led China to refuse imports of North Korean coal. Coal represents 40 percent of North Korea’s exports to China.

That drastic hit to the North Korean economy has apparently forced Kim Jong-un’s hand, as opium production has once again picked up. Kang Cheol-hwan, a North Korean defector and president of the North Korea Strategy Center, told the Yonhap News Agency that “the North is cultivating poppy fields again for drug smuggling as a way to secure funds to manage its regime.”

While North Korea’s opium production is small compared to that of post-invasion Afghanistan, it is still significant. North Korea, according to the Chosun Ilbo, produces around 40 tons of opium annually — comparable to Pakistan’s opium industry. Most of its opium is smuggled into and sold in China and cannot be targeted by sanctions, since it is hard to trace on the black market.

Some have speculated that North Korea’s return to opium production has caught the attention of the CIA, as the intelligence agency has a history of involving itself in opium trade and drug-running in general, as evidenced by its well-documented habit of managing drug supplies from Latin America to Asia.

In addition, opioid addiction – in the form of both legal opiate painkillers and illegal drugs – is growing out of control in the U.S., with more opium being consumed within America than ever before. The onset of this epidemic coincided with the U.S.’ occupation of Afghanistan as, between 2002 and 2013, U.S. heroin use jumped by 63 percent, reaching a 20-year high. Heroin overdoses quadrupled in the U.S. within that same timeframe.

The U.S. government’s actions also suggest that it seeks to protect opium production, as has been made clear in its occupation of Afghanistan. For instance, the U.S. vehemently opposes opium legalization efforts and the State Department refuses to acknowledge eradicating opium as a primary goal, despite the billions that have been spent on counternarcotic programs.

With tension increasing on the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. has put “all options on the table” in order to prevent further missile tests and “provocations” from the Kim Jong-un regime, including warnings that the U.S. may soon find itself in a “major, major conflict” with North Korea.

If North Korea finds itself targeted for regime change, history suggests that the U.S. military may end up guarding its poppy fields as well.

Source, links:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

New York Times accidentally destroys the Western propaganda on Venezuela

globinfo freexchange
In another rare 'real journalism' short crisis, the New York Times decided to reveal the truth about the trucks with 'humanitarian aid' on the Colombia-Venezuela border, that were set on fire.
As The Interceptreported:
On February 24, CNN told the world what we all now know is an absolute lie: that “a CNN team saw incendiary devices from police on the Venezuelan side of the border ignite the trucks,” though it generously added that “the network’s journalists are unsure if the trucks were burned on purpose.
Other media outlets endorsed the lie while at least avoiding what CNN did by personally vouching for it. “Humanitarian aid destined for Venezuela was set on fire, seemingly by troops loyal to Mr Maduro,The Telegraph claimed. The BBC uncritically printed: “There have also been reports of several aid trucks being burned – something Mr Guaidó said was a violation of the Geneva Convention.
That lie – supported by…

The underground war between Venezuela and the US big oil cartel confirmed through WikiLeaks

The WIKILEAKS Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD) holds the world's largest searchable collection of United States confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications. As of April 8, 2013 it holds 2 million records comprising approximately 1 billion words. The collection covers US involvements in, and diplomatic or intelligence reporting on, every country on earth. It is the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published. The PlusD collection, built and curated by WikiLeaks, is updated from a variety of sources, including leaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and documents released by the US State Department systematic declassification review.
globinfo freexchange
A document under the title VENEZUELA: AMERICAN OIL AND SERVICE COMPANIES ENGAGE AMBASSADOR, from July, 2009, depicts the agony of the US oil corporations to stay in Venezuela, as they had already lost control over country's rich reserves.
The summary…

Neoliberal fascists attempt to regain control over the European continent to prevent a Leftist revival

While the neoliberal regime is pushing Jeremy Corbyn for a second Brexit referendum, Brussels bureaufascists visit Greece to make sure that the country will remain on the path of neoliberal destruction.
globinfo freexchange
UK's neoliberal regime is now pushing Jeremy Corbyn to promise a second Brexit referendum, hoping to reverse current Brexit vote. As the Independentreported:
Jeremy Corbyn is under new pressure to fully back giving the public a Final Say on Brexit after his own version of EU withdrawal was emphatically rejected in the Commons. His vision of the UK leaving Europe was defeated by a margin of 240 votes to 323, meaning the leader will now be expected to fulfil a promise to bring forward or support a vote to approve a new referendum. The 83-vote defeat comes after Mr Corbyn told Labour MPs on Monday that he was ready to support moves to demand a public vote, having lost a string of MPs who resigned in part over his Brexit strategy.
It appears that the blackmail worked …

Fraudulent neoliberalism was born when it was assumed that the banking parasites produce real value

Democracy At Work
Adam Smith looked on bankers as if they were unproductive. Essentially said they're parasites who kind of live off the value created by others. Bankers - if you have a labor theory of value - it's hard to see how bankers can be producing value.
Before the 1970s, financial services were not included in the calculation of gross domestic product (GDP). In other words, they were considered as adding nothing to the total value of gross domestic product. Only after 1970 did they get included, and now, of course, they're considered to be great value producers. So, do financiers produce value? This starts to become a very important kind of question.

To save Labour from the wreckers, Corbyn needs big balls (and a willie)

In 2015, anti-war socialist Jeremy Corbyn caused a stunning shock when, as a 500-1 shot, he became elected as Labour Party leader. Corbyn’s campaign engendered great enthusiasm among those desperate for Labour to make a clean break with elite-friendly pro-war neoliberal Blairism.
by Neil Clark
In the 2017 general election Corbyn defied the odds, and the smug inside the tent pundits again, with Labour achieving its biggest increase in its share of the vote since 1945.
Corbyn seemed to be on an unstoppable path to Number 10. But since then momentum has been lost. Literally.
Let’s call out the elephant in the room. The pro-Israel lobby in Labour and outside of it has never been reconciled to having a pro-Palestinian peace activist as party leader and potential Prime Minister.
They have done everything possible to destroy Corbyn personally and professionally, with charges of ’anti-Semitism’ the weapon of choice. But Corbyn hasn’t done himself any favours by failing to fight back forcefully ag…

As mainstream journalists acknowledge Douma attacks were “staged,” the “humanitarian” Syria regime-change network tries to save a sinking ship

There is increasing desperation on the part of the “humanitarian” regime-change network to protect its influence and the power of its narratives, not just in Syria but in future conflicts.
by Whitney Webb and Vanessa Beeley
Part 3 - Global Public Policy Institute’s place in regime-change network
Beyond Schneider’s conflicts of interests by virtue of his work history and current associations, the organization that employs him — the Global Public Policy Institute — is directly connected to an oligarch-directed and oligarch-funded regime-change network that specializes in manufacturing “humanitarian” justifications for Western military adventurism abroad. The main oligarchs who drive this network, as detailed in a recent articles series at MintPress, include Jeffrey Skoll, George Soros, Pierre Omidyar, and Ted Turner — philanthrocapitalists aligned with the neoliberal, globalist agendas of the U.S/U.K alliance.
In addition to its stated mission of “improving global governance,” in line with…

Βενεζουέλα: Διαβολική επανάληψη της ιστορίας 120 χρόνια μετά

Ως «αδιόρθωτο» και «απαίσιο» περιγράφουν οι New York Times, η New York Herald και το Associated Press τον ηγέτη της Βενεζουέλας. Ο τελευταίος «απεχθάνεται τις πιο ιερές αξίες των πολιτισμένων εθνών», γράφουν τα δυτικά ΜΜΕ που υποστηρίζουν τον φιλελεύθερο «επαναστάτη», ο οποίος προσπαθεί να εξουδετερώσει τον «τύραννο». Ο τελευταίος είναι ο πλέον μισητός στον δυτικό κόσμο, το κράτος του, αν και πλούσιο σε πόρους, είναι υπερχρεωμένο, η διακυβέρνηση της χώρας διεκδικείται από έναν επαναστάτη που έχει συγκεντρώσει έναν στρατό και βαδίζει προς το Καράκας.
Βαγγέλης Γεωργίου
Μέρος 3ο - Η «κατασκευή» υποχρεώσεων
Οπωσδήποτε η Βενεζουέλα είχε νομικές και οικονομικές υποχρεώσεις απέναντι σε ξένα κράτη. Ωστόσο, αυτές δημιουργήθηκαν και χρησιμοποιήθηκαν με τέτοιο τρόπο από τις Μεγάλες Δυνάμεις που οδηγούσαν ουσιαστικά στην πλήρη υποταγή του αδύναμου λατινοαμερικανικού κράτους.
Ο ίδιος ο Βρετανός επιτετραμμένος στο Καράκας Richard Edwardes είχε ανακαλύψει από τη δεκαετία του 1860 τον μηχανισμό απάτης πο…

UK's panicked neoliberal regime desperate to build a third loyal party to halt Corbyn's progressive counterattack

globinfo freexchange
Right after the seven neoliberal Blairites left the Labour party towards the formation of a new "independent" party, three Tories decided to join them.
As the Guardianreported: “Three Conservatives have quit their party to join the new Independent Group of MPs, declaring that hard Brexiters have taken over and that the modernising wing of the party has been 'destroyed'. Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen explained their decision to join the new group, founded this week by seven Labour MPs, who also left their party.
It all happened too fast and someone would be rather naive to believe that these moves were not pre-agreed and fully coordinated.
All the picks appear to be carefully selected. The establishment takes back those who has raised carefully with the 'principles' of the neoliberal ideology in order to save them from the collapsing conservative party and the Corbynism-'contaminated' Labour. Next step, a third 'ind…

The war criminal Elliott Abrams and the liberals who love him

Elliott Abrams, who is steering Trump’s Venezuela policy, has a long track record of war crimes. Yet a number of liberal commentators are rushing to his defense.
by Paul Heideman
Part 1
Practically the entire American political establishment and corporate press are repeating the Trump administration’s claims to have humanitarian motives in Venezuela. As that administration inches closer to full-blown military invasion, whether direct or by proxy, it behooves us to look into the track record of the officials steering this so-called “humanitarian policy.” None other are more deserving of scrutiny than Elliott Abrams, whose crimes have spanned the globe, from El Salvador to Nicaragua to Iraq.
Before this month, Elliott Abrams was likely glad to have been largely forgotten by the U.S. public. When the Trump administration announced Abrams’ appointment as U.S. Special Representative in Venezuela in late January, the news caused some ripples on the Left, but across mainstream media outlets, the…

Βενεζουέλα: Διαβολική επανάληψη της ιστορίας 120 χρόνια μετά

Ως «αδιόρθωτο» και «απαίσιο» περιγράφουν οι New York Times, η New York Herald και το Associated Press τον ηγέτη της Βενεζουέλας. Ο τελευταίος «απεχθάνεται τις πιο ιερές αξίες των πολιτισμένων εθνών», γράφουν τα δυτικά ΜΜΕ που υποστηρίζουν τον φιλελεύθερο «επαναστάτη», ο οποίος προσπαθεί να εξουδετερώσει τον «τύραννο». Ο τελευταίος είναι ο πλέον μισητός στον δυτικό κόσμο, το κράτος του, αν και πλούσιο σε πόρους, είναι υπερχρεωμένο, η διακυβέρνηση της χώρας διεκδικείται από έναν επαναστάτη που έχει συγκεντρώσει έναν στρατό και βαδίζει προς το Καράκας.
Βαγγέλης Γεωργίου
Μέρος 1ο
Θα μπορούσαν όλα αυτά να συμβαίνουν το 2019, αλλά συνέβαιναν στη Βενεζουέλα του 1899, όταν η Δύση έπρεπε να τακτοποιήσει πάλι έναν μισητό δικτάτορα κάπου στην Καραϊβική.
Οι ομοιότητες διαβολικές. Η κατάληξη ίδια;
Πράγματι, η Βενεζουέλα την τελευταία δεκαετία του 19ου αιώνα είχε βυθιστεί σε εμφυλίους οι οποίοι ακύρωναν τις όποιες προσπάθειες είχαν γίνει από τις κυβερνήσεις των φιλελεύθερων των προηγούμενων δεκαετιών.