November 06, 2020 12:52
The North Korean regime on Wednesday banned smoking in public places though it remains at ease with public executions.
The rubberstamp Supreme People's Assembly adopted an anti-smoking law that doubles down on chicanery of the long-suffering population by restricting production and sale of tobacco and smoking.
Given that leader Kim Jong-un is a heavy smoker, it remains to be seen how state media will handle images that show him puffing away.
The North's official Korean Central News Agency said the law consists of no fewer than 31 clauses that ban smoking in enclosed public places such as theaters and concert halls, childcare facilities, schools, and medical facilities.
Already back in 2005, the regime launched an anti-smoking campaign that never took off as then-leader Kim Jong-il and later his son Jong-un carried on smoking in public.
Kim junior has been pictured smoking in schools and kindergartens, at major meetings of the Workers Party and at missile launch sites. State media have shown him smoking even in hospitals and in the presence of his pregnant wife Ri Sol-ju.
During a visit to Pyongyang in 2018, then South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong created an awkward moment when he advised Kim to quit smoking.
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