A North Korean border railway guard has had what was likely his first ever vaping experience, and seemed to enjoy it!
The North Korean found the vaping product that belonged to a British tourist and he thought it was a bomb.
Del Dinsdale, 34, informed the guard that it was an e-cigarette and invited an eager official to try it.
“He thought it was an illegal item being taken into his country but I showed him what it was and he was delighted,” said Dinsdale, who was travelling from China.
“He began to smoke it with such delight as he had never seen an electric cigarette in his life. He then began to show all the other border guards and asked if I could give him it.”
“I explained he would not be able to buy the liquids in his country so he gave it back and presented me with some North Korean cigarettes.”
“It’s highly illegal taking photos of army guards and for him to allow me to do this is very strange. I suppose it shows that perhaps they are getting more lenient.”
“I believe it’s the only photo of its kind.”
The guard’s acceptance to pose for photos is a little confusing as North Korea is widely regarded as one of the most secretive countries in existence and is a totalitarian dictatorship.
Another guard who checked Mr Dinsdale’s phone deleted the images, but the photos were saved to his ‘recently deleted’ folder.
The incident is one of the first known interactions between a North Korean official and an e-cigarette. It will be very interesting to see if the e-cig is adopted in the communist country.
Given the official’s lack of understanding as to what the vaping device actually was, he, and many other North Koreans, are likely unaware that e-cigs are considered 95% safer than regular cigarettes and do not induce DNA mutations like regular tobacco.
Lord Forsyth, a former Tory cabinet minister, has branded the proposed EU regulations on e-cigs “North Korean stuff”, tellingly.