Tim Elfrink wrote this dramatic summary of the recent history of cigarette smuggling as a source of terrorist income for the Miami New Times.
Tobacco firm has secret North Korea plant
British American Tobacco, the world's second largest cigarette company, has secretly been operating a factory in North Korea for the past four years, the Guardian has learned. The company opened the plant in a joint venture with a state owned corporation shortly before the regime was denounced by George Bush as a member of the "axis of evil", and despite widespread concern over the country's human rights record.
BAT has never mentioned the factory in its annual accounts, and it is thought that many shareholders are unaware of its links with the country.
The discovery of the secret factory comes two years after BAT was forced to pull out of Myanmar, formerly Burma, under pressure from the UK government and human rights campaigners. The human rights record of the communist regime in North Korea is widely regarded as even worse than that of the brutal military dictatorship in Burma. Find the full story at the Guardian (17 October 2005).
North Korean Cigarettes Sell Like Hotcakes
The Chosen (Daily News in English about Korea) reports (2 March 2005) that cigarettes from North Korea, which cost only half as much as South Korean cigarettes, are selling like hot cakes in Seoul. They sell for W1,000 a pack, and W8,000 for cartons of 10. Considering that South Korean cigarettes cost more than W2,000 a packet after the W500 price hike at the beginning of the year, they're a good deal. Pyongyang cigarettes can be found in traditional markets and vendors in subway stations. Find the full story here.