Sunday 22 September 2019

Copy Kim's style, North Korea tells long-haired men

Julian Ryall Tokyo

North Korea has launched a new purge, targeting citizens with long hair and ordering them to copy Kim Jong-un's much-mocked "ambitious" style.

Sources in Pyongyang, quoted by South Korea's 'Chosun Ilbo' newspaper, said authorities in the North Korean capital have issued an order requiring that men keep their hair to a maximum 2 cm (0.8 inches) in length.

They are also being instructed to pay homage to Mr Kim by copying his trademark swept-back bouffant that emerges upwards from the shaved patches above his ears.

Women have also been told to adopt a bob similar to that worn by Ri Sol-ju, the North Korean leader's wife. The only exceptions to the new rules, the paper claimed, are performers.

Authorities are so keen to enforce the crackdown on long hair that, "University students monitors are walking around with scissors and cutting off the hair of offenders", the 'Chosun Ilbo' reported.

Analysts say Mr Kim has adopted a hair style initially sported by Kim Il-sung, his grandfather and the man still revered as the founder of North Korea, as he attempts to hark back to the relatively prosperous early days of the regime and build up his own power base.

Known as The Great Leader, Kim Il-sung also favoured the swept-back approach to hairstyles and there are pictures of the fledgling dictator in his youth with the sides of his head shaved.

There have even been suggestions that Kim Jong-un has undergone plastic surgery to make him resemble his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, more closely.

Meanwhile, thousands of mourners gathered yesterday at the lawn outside South Korea's parliament to bid farewell to former President Kim Young-sam, whose landmark 1992 election victory ended decades of military rule and ushered in a series of reforms.

Mr Kim, a towering figure in South Korea who fought against a succession of dictatorships from the 1960s through the 1980s, died of a severe blood infection and acute heart failure on Sunday aged 87. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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