North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un has enacted a new order: all North Korean men must have Kim's "Dear Leader" haircut.
Bizarre as it may seem, the Korea Times on Tuesday reported that the new edict went into effect in the capital of Pyongyang two weeks ago, and is now being enforced nation-wide.
However, not all North Koreans greeted the mandate to look like their leader with fondness. Radio Free Asia quoted one local saying "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."
Another former Pyongyang resident now living in China noted "until the mid-2000s, we called it the ‘Chinese smuggler haircut,'" adding that the haircut was shunned until Kim began popularizing it.
The new order is a severe cutback from the former 28 authorized hairstyles. Until now, men had a choice of ten hairstyles, and women had their choice of 18 haircuts, with married women having a wider variety to choose from, reports Want China Times.
Control over citizen's hair is not new. North Korean state TV launched a series entitled "Let us trim our hair in accordance with Socialist lifestyle" in 2005, which caught "rebels" breaking the hairstyle code on hidden camera, according to The Daily Mail.
The program even proposed health reasons for the short hairstyles, claiming longer hair steals energy from the brain.
According to the existing regulations before everyone was ordered to look like Kim, men were to cut their hair every 15 days, keeping it under two inches, while older men were allowed to grow up to three inches, apparently under the assumption that energy to the brain is less critical the older you are.
Cutting hair, firing missiles
The new regulation comes as South Korea's military reported its northern neighbor test-fired two medium-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday, reports CNN.
The missiles are thought to have been Rodong missiles, which have not been fired by North Korea since 2009. They ended up in the Sea of Japan.
"It is a clear violation of UN resolutions and we demand an immediate stop to (the) provocation," South Korean Ministry of Defense spokesperson Kim Min Suk-fyi said in response to the launching.
US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf condemned the test as well, saying the launches "represent a troubling and provocative escalation that the United States takes very (seriously)."