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A former high-ranking North Korean intelligence agent who sought refuge in Japan a few years ago claims that drug smuggling is an important source of foreign currency for Pyongyang, a Japanese daily reported Saturday.

The former agent said the late Kim Il Sung visited the northeastern province of Yanggang in 1992 and ordered 3,000 hectares to be set aside to increase poppy cultivation, the Sankei Shimbun said in a front-page report.

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