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NORTH KOREA

North Korea buys leaf tobacco from China despite tobacco-prohibition law

21 Jul 2021. North Korea has continued to import leaf tobacco from China even though Pyongyang has banned smoking nationwide in public places since November 2020, reports Kyodo.

North Korea has closed its borders with China and Russia since early 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but the latest data shows cigarettes still need to be imported amid limited trade.

Analysts say the country's state-owned enterprises have been buying leaf tobacco from China, with total sales accounting for about 30 per cent of China's exports of the product in June.

In November, North Korea passed the "tobacco-prohibition law". Legal and social controls on the production and sale of cigarettes were tightened, while those who violate the law were fined, the report said.