- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Report: Prostitution, drug abuse on the rise in N. Korea
Question of the Day
Prostitution, drug abuse and human trafficking are on the rise in North Korea, driven by a worsening economy and "a weakening regime," a South Korean newspaper reported Monday.
The Chosun Ilbo, citing unnamed intelligence officials, said these crimes are becoming more common, especially in parts of North Korea close to the Chinese border. The paper said the regime in Pyongyang "blames the negative influence of capitalism and is cracking down hard on offenders."
Prostitution rings first emerged in North Korea in the mid-2000s, centered on military barracks and railway stations, the paper reported.
But now, growing numbers of young women including university students are turning to prostitution "to earn a living or make money to buy cosmetics, mobile phones or cover their wedding costs."
There is growing cross-border trade in prostitutes, with women being trafficked or even selling themselves to Chinese pimps, the Chosun Ilbo reported.
Sexual promiscuity in general also is on the rise in the isolated, communist state, the paper said, citing testimony from a North Korean defector who had been a senior official in the North's ruling Workers Party.
The former Pyongyang official said that recent statistics from the physical exams for the military draft of 16-year-olds in Chongjin showed that fewer than 40 percent of the girls were virgins.
"The whole of North Korean society is being affected by illegal drugs," another defector told the paper. "Some wealthy people use them to lose their weight and other people take them to treat colds and fatigue. They are considered wonder cures in North Korea."
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
- Senator's memo shows Iran links in Homeland Security's troubled immigration program
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- Dems back bill to fix problems in investor visa program
- Democrats proceed with Mayorkas vote despite pending investigation
- NSA monitored 'World of Warcraft' players
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- Russia violating 1987 nuclear missile treaty
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq