North Korea Feeds Asia’s Drug Appetited
Posted by Childress on September 25, 2006
The Australian ran an interesting story last Tuesday about the growing appetite for drugs in Asia, and North Korea’s role in feeding it:
WHEN the North Korean ship the Pong Su mysteriously appeared off the Victorian coast in 2003 to dump its deadly haul of heroin here, authorities hoped it was a one-off crime, a brazen act by a desperate nation.
That now seems unlikely. A significant new report, obtained exclusively by The Australian, shows Australia is almost certain to be targeted by other heroin ships.
What’s more, it reveals there is a ghostly armada of Pong Sus out there today, plying the waters of Asia and the Pacific carrying drugs to unsuspecting victims around the world.
In one of the most chilling studies of its kind, the Australian National Council on Drugs, the principal advisory body to the federal Government on drug policy, has taken a rare and comprehensive snapshot of the Asia-Pacific region. Its 215-page report finds that, despite record numbers of drug-related arrests, the region is awash with illicit drugs, from heroin to amphetamines to schoolyard glue.
The report goes on to describe increased use of Ecstasy, meth and ketamine in cities throughout Asia, and the authorities’ struggles against the rising tide.
”The numbers of people using and dependent on illicit drugs run into the millions across the region. Issues of such magnitude challenge the capacity of developed nations, let alone those that are attempting to hasten social and economic development, often from a low base,” says the report, Situational Analysis of Illicit Drug Issues in the Asia-Pacific Region.
My fear is that use of the drugs is increasing exponentially faster than education about them. Usually, it takes a number of tragedies before the media wakes up to a problem.