South Korea is renowned for its rugged beauty industry, with the country's focus on personal appearance so intense that it recently hit a backlash.
But the industry is now faced with unwanted attention of another kind: a company's decision to market Kim Jong-un beauty masks – complete with "nuclear bomb" packages that promise to rejuvenate and witness the face – has led to such rebellion that the product have been pulled from some store shelves.
More than 25,000 of these face masks, with the North Korean leader's face and blocky hairline, have been sold online and in stores since June according to 51
However, as the word of the unconventional product has spread, the criticism, leading a chain store, Pierrot Shopping, has been removed to remove the product from shelves after critical coverage in a major South Korean newspaper. Some say that such mockery by Kim only softens the image of North Korea, which effectively creates propaganda for the regime.
"The fact that the worst dictator in the world – which violates human rights of its inhabitants – appears as someone who can be part of world peace shows that South Korean society has lost the ability to filter through and control the situation," said Kang Dong- wan, professor of North Korean culture and politics at Dong-A University in Busan, South Korea.
Many consumers have been playing playfully with the masks stuck in the face and published the pictures on social media. Others see it as the normalization of an oppressive dictator and a trivialization of the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.
The package of "association's nuclear cotton package" containing the product promises to rewind, cite or lift the buyer's face. A commercial on the company's Instagram account points to the product as a "nuclear bomb that bursts in the face."
"Are we going to cross the border with a white face?" A text on the product's packaging reads, in a font commonly used in North Korean propaganda.
Ms. Kwak said that her product just celebrated the jubilee which greeted Kim's April meeting with President Moon Jae-in South Korea in the demilitarized zone between the two countries.
"I do not know what Kim Jong-un means in North Korea or what he represents politically, but the whole country in South Korea was happy," she said, referring to the moment when the North Korean leader trampled over the heavy armed the limit hand in hand with Mr. Moon. 19659002] "I wanted to pat Kim Jong-o-shoulder to come," Kwak said.
Park Sang-hak, chairman of the Fighters Human Rights Group for a Free North Korea, said the popularity of the machine showed how many South Koreans fell for North Korean propaganda after the Kim-Moon meetings and the north's last peace takeover.
"Kim Jong-uns nuclear ambitions are motivated and even admired by the words" nuclear weapon mask ", he said.
But such a product would be unthinkable in North Korea. Although the faces of the North Korean leaders are widely equipped with residents lapel, images that are less than reverential can lead to serious punishment.
In Korea, favorable depictions of North Korea are actually illegal according to a 1948 Act, which is rarely executed. A youth fan club called "Welcome Committee for a Big Man" is not blocked by the South Korean government from requesting donations on the street to welcome Mr. Kim during his potential visit to Seoul this month.