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Friday April 18, 2014 MYT 9:30:00 PM
Friday April 18, 2014 MYT 8:53:33 AM
by andrew osborn
North Korea failed to see the joke when a London hair salon used a picture of its leader Kim Jong Un to try to attract more customers.
M&M Hair Academy, a hair salon in west London, put up a giant poster of the North Korean leader in its window after its owners read unconfirmed media reports that men in the reclusive Asian state had been ordered to have the same hairdo.
The promotional poster read: “Bad Hair Day? 15% off all gent cuts through the month of April.”
With its shaved sides and bowl-like shape, Kim Jong Un’s distinctive haircut has been a light-hearted talking point for North Korea watchers.
But officials at the country’s embassy, which is just a short walk away from the salon, visited to complain and wrote to the Foreign Office asking it to take “necessary action” to stop “the provocation,” a British diplomatic source said, adding that the Foreign Office was considering its response.
The embassy, located in a semi-detached house near the hair salon, filed a complaint to the police too.
A spokeswoman for London’s Metropolitan police said on Wednesday that the complaint had been investigated and that no action would be taken. “We spoke to all parties involved and there were no offences,” she said.
Officials at the embassy could not immediately be contacted for comment.
Amusing but sinister
David Burrowes, a lawmaker from Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party who specialises in North Korean issues, said the incident was amusing but sinister.
“On the one hand their response is laughable,” he told London’s Evening Standard newspaper. “But underlying it is a more sinister undertone which is played out in North Korea with people being locked up, killed and denied freedoms.”
Last month, Radio Free Asia reported that Kim had issued a mandatory directive requiring university students in North Korea to sport his hairstyle or else. Although the news item was eventually revealed to be false, hair in North Korea is a matter of ideological concern.
Want China Times published a story last year claiming that North Koreans are recommended to choose from a selection of 28 state-sanctioned hairstyles – 18 for women and 10 for men.
Apparently, the North Korean government claims the recommended hairstyles are “the most comfortable” and capable of warding off the corrupting effects of capitalism, as demonstrated by the outrageous coifs of the less-inhibited South Koreans, whose K-pop revolution is so trendy it hurts. – Reuters
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Lifestyle, Features, Funny, London, North Korea, Kim Jong Un, bad hair, hairstyle, mock, satire, ad, poster, complaint
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