North Korea, reportedly the most isolated country on the globe, is in shambles because of the economic sanctions imposed on it by various international bodies and countries after its first nuclear test during the year 2006.
Despite crippling sanctions, Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, is known for his lifestyle of luxury. The country still has the power to pursue its nuclear arms program. Recently, North Korea successfully tested its sixth nuclear bomb that is able to be loaded onto an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the U.S. mainland
How does Kim Jong-un afford a nuclear program and an extravagant lifestyle while North Korea is starving?
According to The Daily Mail, the dictator supposedly does this by selling endangered species, hacking into banks, sales of Viagra and crystal meth, along with a number of other illicit methods.
Proceeds from these illegal activities bring Kim Jong-un up to a billion dollars per year. A majority of the funds are channeled into the country’s nuclear program, while what remains is spent on expensive food, wine, clothes and other expenses by elites. The elites enjoy, but the majority of the population lives under the poverty line. North Korea is among the 34 world nations who rely on food aid from the United Nations to feed its population.
Hundreds of millions of dollars are reportedly dragged into Pyongyang by selling counterfeit banknotes and weapons. Republican Representative Doug Lamborn, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, stated to CNN:
“North Korea has blatantly violated international law with their nuclear testing, illicit sales, and the ramping up of their nuclear program.”
The Express reported, the illicit money-making scheme is run by a covert department called the Central Committee Bureau 39 of the Korean Workers’ Party, code named Room 39.
Other than funding the nuclear program, the illicit funds made by Room 39 are also spent lavishly among the country’s elites. Official statistics reveal Kim Jong-un spent about £139,000 on vodka in 2016 for example.
He also spent around £2.7 million on racy underwear for his band of groupies who are plucked as virgins, as young as 13 years old, to entertain the dictator and his cronies. They’re taken from classrooms and subjected to medical tests in order to check if they’re virgins, then are forced into a life of sexual servitude.
Defectors have talked about attending drunken sex parties where women would have their pubic hair shaved if they lost at games.
In 2016, Kim blew up to £33 million on statues of himself, his father Kim Jong-il, and grandfather Kim Il-sung. Prior, he had imported items worth £6 million from German firms, including beer, wine and Champagne.
Kim also placed orders for deodorants, make-up, perfumes, and hair care products from Germany for around £123,000. He spent around £57,000 on Switz watches, £251,000 on fishing rods from China, £67,000 on imported cheese, along with £132,000 on horses from Russia.