North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been spotted smoking in public for the first time in around two months, despite the country being in the middle of an official anti-smoking campaign.
State media this week showed the country’s Supreme Leader with a cigarette in his right hand during a visit to a children’s camp in Pyongyang. Until now, news reports on Kim’s activities have shown him without his habitual cigarette and an ashtray on a nearby table. He’s known to be a heavy smoker, and BBC analysts say he may have just stopped smoking on official duties for the sake of the cameras.
The sight of Kim smoking comes as a surprise, as the country is in the midst of what state newspaper Rodong Sinmun calls a “brisk” anti-tobacco campaign in a country which has a large smoking population. According to the World Health Organisation, over half of North Korean men were smokers in 2012, South Korean news agency Yonhap says, one of the highest rates in Asia.