North Korea's Kim Jong Un Smokes During Hospital Inspection, While Ordering Hospital To Be Kept Dust-Free

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By Sreeja V N | February 2, 2013 12:13 AM EST

The North Korea leader Kim Jong Un was pictured smoking last week, when he was touring a newly-built hospital in Pyongyang, while giving instructions to the hospital authorities to keep hospital clean and dust-free.  

A report by The Pyongyang Times last week stated that the Korean leader visited a hospital built by the Korean People’s Army (KPA) and insisted on maintaining high standards of hygiene at the facility. According to the report, Kim Jong Un asked “questions in detail to see [that] they were thoroughly sterilized and dust-free.” And, all this occurred while he was smoking in the facility and emphasizing his desire for maximum hygiene. Speaking to reporters, he told that hospitals should be “neat and splendid." But pictures of his hospital tour clearly seemed to demonstrate his callousness.

The North Korean leader’s fondness for cigarettes is well-known. Previously, a series of images released by the North’s official news agency, KCNA, last month,  showed Kim Jong Un smoking, during and after a successful rocket launch Dec.12.   

In the photographs, he is spotted giving orders to the scientists to launch the rocket; monitoring the screen during the launch; and congratulating the officials after the successful launch, all while smoking contentedly.

Previously, a YouTube video of Jong Un visiting a gymnasium and using the gym equipments with a cigarette in hand made international headlines.

North Korea has one of the highest smoking rates in the world. According to the World Health Organization data, more than half of the population smokes. Smoking and offering a cigarette is viewed as a sign of hospitality and even the former North Korean leaders seem to have patronized the tobacco culture.

According to reports, Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il and grandfather, Kim Il Sung were also smokers. However, Kim Jong Il apparently quit smoking and drinking in 2000 after his health deteriorated and even banned smoking in public places in 2007. However, the ban didn’t last long for soon after recovering from his health ailments Jong Il commenced smoking again, according to a DailyNK report.

Kim Jong Un allegedly started smoking and drinking alcohol when he was about 15 years of age.  

The pictures of Kim enjoying a fag have surfaced at a time when North Korea is placed under the martial law, with the leader ordering the military to get ready for a war. 

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