May 7 (UPI) -- At least one North Korea security agent who abetted drug production and circulation has been dismissed without a sentence of imprisonment or fines, a move that is angering ordinary people.
Sources in the country who spoke to Radio Free Asia on the condition of anonymity said the security agent who helped smuggle drugs across the country was recently found guilty of crimes.
"A security office inspector in his 40s, in Onsan County, South Pyongan Province, was making and trafficking drugs [methamphetamines] and was dismissed," said RFA's source in South Pyongan Province.
The source said the agent used his official title to get away with his illicit trade for several years, but a new task force formed jointly by North Korea's defense and security agencies had exposed his involvement in the drug trade.
The officer who was dismissed sold 500 grams of drugs manufactured in his residence to "merchants in Pyongsong" city.
The joint task force was formed to crack down on the growing use of drugs among the residents of Pyongyang, the capital.
The source said regional authorities knew of the drug trade but did nothing to stop the transactions.
The joint task force was "surprised" security agents were hiring technicians to make the drugs at home.
A second source in South Pyongan Province said the central leadership has warned of more severe punishment for "anti-socialist" conduct.
But the security agent who was dismissed is receiving a relatively light sentence.
"Locals are critical because the drug incident is not being dealt with properly," the source said. "If it was dealt with properly, the inspector would have been sent to a detention center."
North Korea ordered a crackdown on drug production in February, according to Daily NK.
Areas targeted for the crackdown include the city of Hamheung in South Hamgyong Province and Sunchon city, in South Pyongan Province.
Both cities are known as centers of North Korea's chemical industry, according to the report.