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Kim Jong-un beauty masks are pulled off shelves in South Korea



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

49, the South Korean cosmetics and fashion companies that produced them. The company's CEO, Kwak Hyeon-ju, said she wanted the maskpackers to celebrate what she called "once in a lifetime" between Korean summits earlier this year.

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.


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