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Real-life North Korean ‘Breaking Bad’ meth-slinging drug ring busted by DEA

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Brendan Bordelon Contributor
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How do you say “I am the one who knocks” in Korean?

Five foreigners arrested Wednesday by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) might know after being charged with running a real-life, North Korean version of the hit television show, “Breaking Bad.”

The DEA charged the individuals — two from the UK and one each from the Philippines, China and Thailand — of conspiring to import 100 kilograms of North Korean crystal meth into the United States. The stash was worth an estimated total of $6 million.

“This investigation continued to highlight the emergence of North Korea as a significant source of methamphetamine in the global drug trade,” said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart in a statement.

North Korean laboratories manufactured the crystal and smuggled it into the Philippines with the help of criminal gangs from Hong Kong. From there, the meth was to be shipped to Thailand, where armed members of the “Outlaw Motorcycle Club” would secure counting and repackaging. The drugs would then be put on container ships bound for New York City.

Isolated and poverty-stricken, communist North Korea is hardly known for its scientific prowess. But there is at least one Walter White working in the nation’s meth labs: 30 kilograms of North Korean meth sold by the conspirators in 2012 tested at more than 99 percent pure.

Both the Chinese and North Korean governments have tried to smother the meth trade. One of the arrested individuals claimed that their organization’s labs were the only ones left in the country after a North Korean crackdown.

“Only our labs are not closed,” he bragged. “To show Americans that they are not selling it anymore, they burned it. Then they transfer to another base.”

It’s unclear the degree to which the North Korean government — which would likely to shed few tears at the thought of Americans getting hooked on methamphetamine — is complicit in the scheme.

The investigation already ensnared five others in September, including a former U.S. Army sniper plotted to murder a DEA agent and his informant. Additional arrests are expected as the sprawling international drug ring comes into clearer focus in the coming weeks.

On Tuesday, the State Department issued its harshest travel warning for American citizens traveling to North Korea since tourists began visited the nation in 1995. Reports indicate that an 85-year-old Korean war veteran may have been detained in North Korean for last month, after being pulled off a plane about to depart the communist country.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.