SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean heir-apparent Kim Jong-un’s slicked-back, high-sided haircut is a fashion hit in Pyongyang where young men are apparently queuing up for a similar cut.
Kim, believed to be in his late 20s and known as the “Young General,” is packaged to look like his late grandfather, the secretive state’s founder, Kim Il-sung.
The chubby youngest son of the current leader, Kim Jong-il, slicks his hair back at the top, and has it trimmed to the scalp to about an inch above the ears.
Completing the Kim Il-sung look, which experts say is designed to help win over the public’s support for dynastic succession, the young Kim wears dark Mao-style suits.
The young Kim’s haircut is dubbed a “youth” or “ambition” hairstyle in North Korea, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper has reported.
Earlier this week, North Korean state news agency KCNA quoted barber An Su-gil as saying the short-cut, medium-cut and square-cut hairstyles are now popular among young men.
North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun wrote in September that neat and short hair for young people makes them “captivating.”
“A young man with (an) ambitious high sided haircut looks so sobering and stylish,” the paper added.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said that North Korean young men prefer short hairstyle for sanitary reasons, not just because they want to look neat and ambitious.
Kim Jong-un emerged as the reclusive North’s leader-in-waiting last year when he was named a four-star general and given a prominent post within the ruling party.
This year he has regularly been photographed alongside his father during visits by foreign officials.
Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Jeremy Laurence, Elaine Lies and Nick Macfie