12:13 GMT18 September 2020
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    The cosmetics company that named their mask after the DPRK’s leader to mark the latest breakthrough in inter-Korean relations has come under fire for an unsuspecting side effect of their product. Along with moisturising skin, the mask can soothe the image of North Korea, critics say.

    The launch of the “Unification Moisture Nuclear Masks”, produced by local skincare manufacture 5149, has gotten ugly as some shops have decided to pull the product from their shelves, the Australian broadcaster ABC reports. According to it, even the leading store Pierrot Shopping gave up on the masks although it had become a social media hit with satisfied buyers sharing pictures of the mask, calling Kim, often referred to as a dictator and tyrant, “cute”.

    The product prompted a backlash from critics, including those who had sustained persecution in North Korea. The newspaper Chosun Ilbo cites a refugee, calling the mask “an insult to suffering North Koreans”, beautifying a “dictator who represses and tortures".

    ​The cosmetic hit, dubbed a “nuke mask” was put on the market this summer. It features a portrait of Kim Jong-un with a white cloth on his face along with authoritarian-styled slogans such as “All hail moisture for all women of the North and South!” and “Paektu  Mountain spring water makes skin strong!” The mask itself also has glasses and eyebrows resembling Kim’s printed on it. 

    The product is said to contain thermal water from Mount Paektu on the border of China and North Korea, where Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a summit in September and posed for a historic photo.

    READ MORE: South Korean Presidential Office Doubts Kim's Soon Visit to Country

    The South China Morning Post reports, citing South Korean media that retailers have sold more than 25,000 packages, which cost $3.5 per mask.
    The firm 5149 picked Kim as its ambassador to celebrate this year's breakthrough in inter-Korean relations, as the company’s chief executive Kwak Hyeon-ju said to the New York Times.

    "I don't know what Kim Jong-un means in North Korea or what he represents politically, but the whole country of South Korea was happy”, she said.

    According to the top manager, the manufacturer is also donating a share of the profits from the product to construct a route between the Koreas, as Chosun Ilbo reports.

    Incidentally, "inciting or propagating the activities of an anti-government organisation" or praising the DPRK’s government is prohibited in South Korea. The legal act, regulating the issue, has existed since 1948 and is still in effect, although it is rarely used.


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    beauty, social media, fashion, Kim Jong-un, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), South Korea
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