Kim Jong Un's Changed Habit Attracts Notice

His lack of cigarettes in South Korea was conspicuous
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2018 12:21 PM CDT
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, smile as they watch a magic performance during a banquet at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, Friday, April 27, 2018.   (Korea Summit Press Pool via AP)

(Newser) – To understand what a seemingly committed smoker Kim Jong Un is, the Guardian offers this: He's been photographed with cigarette in hand while touring a school and a children's hospital. And so his nicotine-related choices while meeting with South Korean president Moon Jae-in on Friday are attracting notice: Though ashtrays were provided for Kim while meeting outdoors with Moon in Panmunjom and in a reception room at Peace House, South Korean media says he refrained from smoking, apparently as a respectful gesture.

It's said he had a single smoke while in the country, reportedly during the evening in a smoking room in Peace House, reports the Korea Times. The BBC in April speculated an image adjustment could be underway. Prior to the summit, it reported that the last time Kim was photographed with a cigarette in hand was in early February. But he didn't spend the trip vice-free: The Guardian reports he said yes to all offers of "strong liquor" during dinner with Moon. (As for that dinner, there was some controversy with the mousse.)

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