On August 10, 2016, a number of media rebroadcast the sensational news by the British newspaper The Telegraph: “The regime’s new crime – North Korean builders who are erecting a 70-story skyscraper in Pyongyang at the order of Kim Jong-un are being force-fed a methamphetamine drug to accelerate the construction process and meet the deadlines”.
The skyscraper – a complex of apartment buildings of varying height located on Ryomyong Street, is being built by hundreds of thousands (yes, the news article provides exactly the same citation) of people at a truly accelerated pace. However, what would happen to the builders if they did not meet the deadline is “commonly knowledge”. Therefore, the foremen on the construction sites are under great pressure, and the builders are very tired and just do not have enough strength to finish the job in time.
In this way, according to the authors of the news article, the malicious foremen are openly giving the banned drug to the builders, in the hope that it will help speed up the process of erecting the building, since users of crystal meth have a sense of euphoria, increased performance, and decreased appetite. The effect of this drug can last up to 12 hours, and its production is being supported at the state level.
According to the “information source in Pyongyang”, the builders are experiencing terrible suffering, since the consequences of using methamphetamine are very dangerous: exhaustion, depression, destruction of internal organs. “It is difficult to confirm that such things are happening, but if so, we strongly condemn it,” writes the newspaper, quoting Phil Robertson, Director of the human rights organization – Human Rights Watch, in Asia, adding that, according to human rights activists, the conditions that the North Korean builders work under are no different from slavery, and this constitutes enough reason to introduce new sanctions against North Korea, and personally against Kim Jong-un.
The first question to ask when similar news sensations are happening is where and how this information came from, and why the South Korean news agency websites have no information on this matter, because if there was a chance, they would use it for sure. Alas, this is simple. The Telegraph makes references to Radio Free Asia, and I have already explained what this is numerous times before. It has a private office based in the United States that is engaged in explicit propaganda activities, which is worse than Free Europe, since it is also controlled by the Unification Church founded by Sun Myung Moon.
The original text originating from the RFA is even more remarkable. It is clear that the news sensation is being reported by unnamed sources, but the main proof of its genuineness is that the revealing inscription was discovered on July 27 on the wall of an unfinished building, near cigarette butts and empty bottles. That is why the government is breathing fire and brimstone, and the competent authorities are looking for the culprits. That the wall is located in Pyongyang is true, but the information source that reported it is residing in the mountainous and border-straddlin
What is the main problem in this exciting story? The problem lies in the fact that the effect of methamphetamine described by the fake authors was inspired mainly by the TV-series – Breaking Bad. Indeed, it certainly gives an initial bout of euphoria. But first of all, euphoria and an unwillingness to sleep are not identical to high efficiency and productivity, especially when it is not about creative, but routine, monotonous work, which is typical of construction. Secondly, a bout of euphoria is followed by a feeling of fatigue, when a person is totally unable to work. Thus, feeding the workers with such drugs does not make sense even during a short-term rush job. Let us leave out the question of how much methamphetamine is required to regularly feed thousands of people.
And it would trigger less questions if the fiction mongers who personally received the drugs at the construction site “invented” the builder. But no, if we carefully read the news article published by Radio Free Asia, we will see that it is not even about the “sources which reported about the methamphetamine distribution”, but about that someone somewhere wrote about it, and the authorities erased it all.
By the way, the USA has enough similar examples of conspiracies. For example, it will suffice to mention the people who claim that fluoridated water is being used as a covert way of controlling people by using chemical additives, or supporters of the so-called chemtrails – it turns out that traces in the sky left by the aircraft are also a particular type of chemicals that the backstage players use to discourage citizens from rebelling against the powers that be.
It is possible that this baloney is designed for people who are accustomed to hearing such things, but the author sees one more aspect associated with the fundamental demonization of the DPRK as the Land of Darkness. After all, from the standpoint of the demonizing propagandists, such a state is fundamentally unable to create something positive, especially something aimed at improving the living standards of the population. The Evil Empire can demonstrate progress only in its military affairs or in the crackdown methods. If something is noticed there which is along the lines of improving the living standards of the population, it is propaganda, and the actual situation does not work that way. If they invent something useful, that is not actually their own invention, they just stole it. If something is built there, then the building has been erected on the bones of countless prisoners, or it has something to do with the Potemkin villages.
But what is to be done if, while the construction process is visible, there are no prisoners? Should we believe in “impact motion”? Of course not. It is easier to imagine that people are working so hard and fast because they are drugged – how can a resident of the DPRK be engaged in construction with the deepest affection and with all his heart?
Nevertheless, not everyone knows the intricacies of the effects of drugs, and the Stonefish Law works excellently – any nonsense about the DPRK will be replicated uncritically just because it is about the DPRK. It is a patented Land of Darkness, and, therefore, all things, not just the ordinary, are possible here.
Konstantin Asmolov, Candidate of Historical Sciences, Leading Research Fellow at the Center for Korean Studies of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”