Author: Dami Kim

North and South Korea to March at Olympics Under Joint Flag

North and South Korea to March at Olympics Under Joint Flag

Amidst the concerns of the international community regarding North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, North and South Korea had a series of talks regarding the North’s participation in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics starting February 9. Following the third rounds of talks at the demilitarized zone […]

Saudi Royal Family Dissent and the Role of Crown Prince

Saudi Royal Family Dissent and the Role of Crown Prince

Recently, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was put in charge of an anti-corruption committee. The royal decree for the creation of the committee stated that it would deal with members of the royal family who are “putting their personal interest above public interest, and stealing […]

China Denies Responsibility for Opioid Epidemic

China Denies Responsibility for Opioid Epidemic

A report published by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission last February classified China as the primary source of fentanyl, a synthetic drug, in the United States. With President Trump’s recent declaration of the opioid epidemic as a national health crisis, the United States has turned its attention to China to establish a long-term solution. However, Chinese authorities deny responsibility for the rapid increase in overdose deaths.

Originally developed as a surgical anesthetic, fentanyl is a highly economic synthetic drug, being inexpensive yet potent. It is considered a highly lethal drug, especially due to tolerance that is developed by users. Furthermore, many of those that develop addiction go on to seek less costly drugs such as heroin.

Along with other illicit chemicals, large amounts of fentanyl have been exported from China. These chemicals are smuggled into Mexico, where they are processed and illicitly sent into the United States. Through this circumventing route, China has explicitly denied its role in the now national health crisis in the United States. Wei Xiaojun, deputy director-general of the Narcotics Control Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, denied the accusations and claimed that there is insufficient evidence to pinpoint China as the leading source of fentanyl. Xiaojun, along with other Chinese authorities, has merely expressed his sympathies, but made no comment on China’s intention to cooperate to help mitigate the emergency.

However, China was recently pressured into banning the production of 23 variations of fentanyl by the United States. In addition, two Chinese drug traffickers were publicly indicted by the United States, which Chinese authorities claimed to be an aggressive and unnecessary move.

Recent statistics displays a rapidly escalating number in overdose deaths in the United States; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 64,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2016, and in the span of less than 15 years, overdose deaths related just to heroin increased by an alarming 553%.

Child Soldiers: Modern-day Slavery?

Child Soldiers: Modern-day Slavery?

As conflicts in the Middle East escalate, the number of child soldiers is also increasing. The UN reports that the numbers have doubled in the past year, and the question that arises is: Why? Once war arrives, children in the region are only given two […]