North Korean workers ‘fed meth to speed up work'

Builders on a construction project in Pyongyang are being supplied drugs by managers, reports have alleged

Workers on a construction project in North Korea are being fed methamphetamines, also known as crystal meth or 'ice', in a bid to make them work faster, reports have claimed.

Managers are alleged to be providing builders with the drugs in an attempt to speed up the completion of the project, which is said to include a 70-floor skyscraper and over 60 apartment blocks in the country’s capital, Pyongyang.

A construction source in the capital told Radio Free Asia that “project managers are now openly providing drugs to construction workers so that they will work faster,” adding that the workers are “undergoing terrible sufferings”, the Telegraph reports.

Hundreds of thousands of citizens of North Korea, also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), have been roped into working on the project, the report adds.

Some workers have defaced production signs with graffiti, including messages calling construction workers 'drug troops' and another proclaiming 'Pyongyang speed is drug speed', a Daily Mail report alleges.

The notoriously secretive state is reportedly treating the graffiti as a political crime.
Phil Robertson, Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said: “It’s going to be hard to verify that this is happening, but if it is confirmed then we utterly condemned it”, the Telegraph reports.

“The real issue here is slave labour, and our immediate reaction to this was that if they want faster workers why not actually pay them, instead of resorting to giving them drugs?” 

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