There's some evidence that in the mid-to-late 2000s, the [North Korean] government decided to close some of the larger, export-oriented, regime-supported manufacturing facilities. When that happened, chemists and others set up private facilities, either repurposing equipment or copying from what they'd learned in the state factories. They then tapped into the existing black market inside North Korea and the cross-border smuggling networks into northeastern China to distribute their products.
February 7, 2016, ,
The Daily Beast