North Korea has adopted a new law to monitor the production and distribution of Korean ginseng, or “insam,” state media said Friday, in an apparent move to industrialize the medical herb.
The law lays out legal requirements for the guidance and control of the cultivation and purchase of insam, as well as the production and sale of processed insam products, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.
Insam has long been used in Asia as a medicine and tonic, along with Korean red ginseng, known as “hongsam.”
“The adoption of this law provides the legal guarantee for increasing insam production, one of the specialties of the country, and further promoting the people’s health,” the report said.
The introduction of the new law came amid the North’s apparent push to develop its medicine industry, with its leader Kim Jong-un visiting a drug plant during his trip to Beijing earlier this month.
The KCNA also announced on Tuesday the formation of an association to supervise the cultivation, purchase, processing and export of insam.
Experts said the North could be interested in developing its pharmaceutical sector using medical herbs as it could be a key source of foreign currency for the cash-strapped country. (Yonhap)