Chairwoman of Women’s Union Caught With Drugs Unsettles Hoiryeong

Daly NK
Kim Young Jin

Chairwoman for Hoiryeong City’s North Korean Democratic Women’s Union, Suh Kyung Hee’s husband “K” has been dealing with drugs since the moment he managed his company, Maebong Company. However, as central authorities began to centralize businesses since last year, the company closed its doors and “K” adopted his driver “L” as drug runner and his daughter as the treasurer in charge of distributing illicit drugs to smugglers at wholesale costs to districts such as Musan, Hoiryeong and Onsung.

According to a source in Hoiryeong, K and his driver L had been in confrontation with one another since January. In the past K had procured his drugs from Chongjin and moved them to a base in Hoiryeong. Then, the drugs would be either sold to border smugglers or sold to Chinese tradesmen.

Here is where the conflict surfaced. While, L was in charge of delivering the drugs from Chongjin to Hoiryeong, K became suspicious that L was secretly hoarding the drugs elsewhere. Hence, K conducted an investigation trailing L’s steps at which a disagreement arose.

In early Feb, L voluntarily went to North Hamkyung Security Agency in Chongjin and exposed that Chairwoman Suh’s family had been disclosing in drug dealings. The motive behind L indicting Chairwoman Suh’s family is still unknown.

Some argue that the reason L went straight to the district security office and not the city office in Hoiryeong was because of Chairwoman Suh’s hierarchical position in Hoiryeong city. If L had carelessly reported this case to the city office, it is possible that L would have simply lost his self-dignity.

At present, it seems that rumors about this case are spreading rapidly across Hoiryeong creating unsettling feelings in the city.

People of Hoiryeong city are muttering “High officials must also be shown the seriousness of law,” criticizing Chairwoman Suh’s family for concealing such large amounts of dollars and yuan also Chairwoman Suh, who as the leader of the Women’s Union would advocate severe punishment for female defectors.

100g of North Korean drugs sell for 12,000 yuan

North Korean citizen Park Jong Shim (pseudonym, Sanup-dong, Hoiryeong) who lives in the same suburb as Chairwoman Suh, said in a telephone conversation with a reporter on the 26th “The whole city is raucous because of Chairwoman Suh’s story” and informed “Some people say that the power of law will be enforced properly this time as the district security agency has been involved. On the other hand, some question whether or not those people with so much money and power will be punished according to law, despite the district office being involved.”

Hoiryeong citizen Kang Eun Soon (pseudonym) who defected to China in January said “If I think about the times when Chairwoman Suh would go around making a racket, my teeth rattle.” Like second nature, Chairwoman Suh would prowl around advocating, “With the slightest nudge, Hoiryeong women jump to China, not only defiling their bodies but dishonoring the land where mother Kim Jong Sook (Kim Jong Il’s mother) was born.”

Kang said “Usually, Suh would conduct political meetings through her Women’s Union and argue that the reason there was so many public trials for border crossers and illegal acts in Hoiryeong was due to the fact that women could not look after their family. She would say that Hoiryeong women were obsessed over money and would go to any lengths to get this becoming shallow-minded people.”

“Even if a verdict was made stating that Chairwoman Suh was not linked to the drug dealings, she would still not be able to maintain her position because of all the things she has said in the past,” Kang added.

The drug known as “ice” made in North Korea is sold to Korea, Japan and even Macau through the intermediary of China. The drug “ice” as known to defectors, originated from the Heung Nam Pharmaceutical Company.

Though the going rate for “ice” differs according to quality, 100g of high-quality ice is 12,000 yuan, 9,000~10,000 yuan for standard and 7,000 yuan for low-quality ice.

In accordance with North Korea’s legislation Article 218 amended in April 2004, any person found producing or trading drugs is sentenced to a maximum of 5 years time at the Labor Education Camp. If this act has been repeated on numerous occasions or the drug dealings were large scale, a person could be sentenced to 5~10 years at the Labor Education Camp. If the conditions are even more severe, the law clearly states that a person could then be sentenced to more than 10 years time at the Labor Education Camp or sent to the Labor Education Camp for life.


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