There are two units who produce drugs: the authorities and ordinary people.
The kinds of drugs produced by the authorities are those with high purity such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, which are produced in the Heungnam Pharmaceutical Factory, South Hamkyung Province and the Sangwon Pharmaceutical Factory, the Sangwon County in Pyongyang. The Sangwon Pharmaceutical Factory is the former Ranam Pharmaceutical Factory located in Chongjin, North Hamkyung Province, which was moved to Sangwon in Pyongyang in the late 1990s.
The production and circulation led by the authorities is completely controlled and supervised by the National Security Agency. Therefore, officials of the NSA have tended to siphon off drugs through the production process.
In cities where chemical factories are located such as Pyongyang, Hamheung, Pyongsung, Chongjin and Suncheon, there are many people who can produce drugs because they have learned the production process and skills in the factories as factory workers.
According to inside sources, they can purchase devices to produce methamphetamine for 200 to 1,500 dollars. They can also easily buy the main material, hydrochloric acid ephedrine. Therefore, those who have a certain basic knowledge of chemistry tend to meddle in drug production in order to earn a large sum of money in a comparatively easy way.
Drugs produced by the authorities are sold for high prices through diplomats or foreign currency earning enterprises to foreign countries. There was a case in May of a cadre belonging to the Ministry of Foreign Trade bringing methamphetamine in bulk into China. However, the cadre was caught by the Chinese authorities.
Drugs produced by individuals have low quality, so are usually circulated and consumed domestically, but are sometimes smuggled into China.
Private drug manufacturers deliver methamphetamine to provincial wholesalers through deliverers. These wholesalers forward them to sellers who contact consumers directly. Sellers either work individually or with the wholesalers only in order to avoid detection by the authorities.
Wholesalers try to smuggle them into China in order to sell them for higher prices. With cooperation from a border smuggler, border guards, and a Chinese counterpart, they smuggle them into China. These drugs are also delivered into Japan and South Korea via China.