If you are a smoker living in Korea, there's a good chance you'll be paying a whole lot more for a pack of cigarettes soon.
This after the government and the ruling party agreed to raise cigarette prices by as much as 80 percent to reduce the country's high smoking rate.
An official from the ruling Saenuri Party said Wednesday that the two sides still need to discuss the finer details of the plan but they are reviewing a price hike of around two U.S. dollars a pack.
More than 70 percent of cigarettes in Korea are sold for about two-dollars-50-cents, MUCH cheaper than the average price of six-dollars-and-40-cents in OECD member countries.
However, since a sudden large increase in cigarette prices may go down badly with smokers officials are considering whether to gradually raise prices over a three to five year period.
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(국제방송교류재단 김형선 : ☎02-3475-5263)