SEOL: South Korea’s cigarette exports rose to a record high last year on the back of growing demand from Southeast Asian countries, the latest customs data showed Saturday. he total value of tobacco exports reached a record US$1.13 billion in 2017, up 9.7 percent from the previous year’s $1.01 billion, according to the data compiled by the Korea Customs Service. The figure has been on a steady rise, renewing records for four straight years since 2014. The tally surpassed the $1 billion mark for the first time in 2016. The increase in outbound shipments to Southeast Asian countries was remarkable, with those exported to Vietnam jumping 50 percent to $87.7 million from $56.4 million in 2013, according to the data. Exports to Thailand also increased 120 times from $597,000 to $9.72 million during the cited period.