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Kim hair story fails to make the cut

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's distinctive hairstyle is the hairdo of the day on the internet, thanks to a viral report that every male university student in the capital is now under orders to get a trim just like it. But it appears the barbers of Pyongyang aren't exactly sharpening their scissors.

Recent visitors to the country say they've seen no evidence of any mass hair cutting and North Korea watchers smell another uncorroborated rumour.

The thinly sourced reports say an order went out a few weeks ago for university students to buzz cut the sides of their heads just like Kim (right).

Washington, DC-based Radio Free Asia cited unnamed sources as saying an unwritten directive from somewhere within the ruling Workers' Party went out early this month, causing consternation among students who didn't think the new hairdo would suit them.

"I was there just a few days ago and no sign of that," said Simon Cockerell of Koryo Tours, which specialises in bringing foreign tourists to North Korea.

An AP journalist in Pyongyang also said he had not seen any changes in hairstyles among students in the capital.