North Korean officials ‘threaten’ London hairdresser with Kim Jong-un shop window picture
Embassy officials allegedly told the shop owner to take the picture down because it was 'disrespectful' to their leader
In recent months it has been reported that Kim Jong-un’s grip over the North Korean people extends to every aspect of day-to-day life – even the way they are allowed to wear their hair.
Though severe, it was presumed that this influence was limited only to his own people. Now, however, it has emerged that officials from North Korea have attempted to intervene on the streets of London after a hairdresser used a picture of Kim to promote a discount offer for those suffering from a bad hair day.
Mo Nabbach, who runs M&M Hair Academy in South Ealing, said police were forced to intervene after two men from the North Korean Embassy appeared at his shop and started taking pictures of the window and making note, the Evening Standard reported.
He said he thought the picture of the leader would help improve business, given the coverage Kim's distinctive style has received since he came to power.
But he claims he found himself the victim of a covert monitoring operation carried out by officials from the embassy, which is located less then two miles away in an inter-war semi in Gunnersbury.
Beneath the image a large sign, since taken down, read: "Bad hair day? 15 per cent off all gent cuts through the month of April."
Mr Nabbach, who is also a fashion photographer, said after the men took photos they came back and asked to speak to the manager before ordering him to take the poster down because it was "disrespectful" to their leader.
"I told them this is England and not North Korea and told them to get their lawyers," he added.
The salon was offering 15 per cent off "We did take it down but then some of our clients told me to put it back up because we have a democracy here.
"The two guys were wearing suits and they were very serious. It was very threatening."
Both Mr Nabbach and the embassy contacted the police over the row.
A Met Police spokeswoman said: "We have spoken to all parties involved and no offence has been disclosed."
Male university students in North Korea are reportedly now required to get the same haircut as their leader, who took charge after his father's death in December 2011.
The state-sanctioned guideline was introduced in the capital Pyongyang last month, according to reports by Radio Free Asia, and is now allegedly being rolled out across the country.
Kim Jong-un's hairstyle was reportedly previously known as 'Chinese smuggler' until he came to power in 2011 One source told the station: "Our leader's haircut is very particular, if you will. It doesn't always go with everyone since everyone has different face and head shapes."
But there have been claims that the leader's hair style is unpopular in his home country because it is a look traditionally assoicated with Chinese smugglers.
It is understood haircuts have been state-approved in North Korea for some time - until now people were reportedly only allowed to choose from 18 styles for women and 10 for men.
North Korea's state TV also previously launched a campaign against long hair, called: "Let us trim our hair in accordance with the Socialist lifestyle".
Late leader Kim Jong-il, who ruled the notoriously secret country for 17 years, sported a bouffant hairstyle, allegedly in order to look taller.
A North Korean embassy spokesman refused to confirm whether officials had visited the shop or whether it had been monitored.
He added: "We are not in a position to comment."
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