Dec 16, 2009
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North Korea's Kim raps foreign hairstyles

Dec 16, 2009

SEOUL, Dec 16, 2009 (AFP) - A campaign in communist North Korea against untidy and foreign hairstyles was launched on the orders of leader Kim Jong-Il, a South Korean welfare group says.

Photo: AFP

Official media in the isolated state said last month that men should keep their hair short and women should have it tied up.

"To keep your hair tidy and simple... is a very important matter for setting the ethos of a sound lifestyle in the country," ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said at the time.

Seoul-based Good Friends, in its latest newsletter seen Wednesday 16 December, said the order came from Kim himself and was being enforced by the Central Youth Union Committee, a state body.

It quoted officials of the body as saying Kim took objection to what he saw as the foreign hairstyle of a female sales clerk.

"Is she really our own Korean woman? Why is she giving up our own traditional beauty and choosing to model bad foreign habits of the capitalist?" they quoted Kim as saying.

The leader also ordered that women should not wear skirts above the knee, tight trousers, flared trousers or any garment that reveals the body's contours, according to the newsletter.

Youth union officials in Pyongyang and other cities are now cracking down on the hairstyles of students and young women, it said.

North Korea is a tightly controlled society with foreign-made films or dramas heavily censored or banned because of their "imperialist" culture.

In large cities, rights groups say women are not allowed to wear trousers or ride bicycles because it is considered unbecoming.

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