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Beauty Trendsetters, Head North!

North Korea gets into the cosmetics business

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By: Tom Branna

Beauty Trendsetters, Head North!

For years, the cosmetics industry has looked to Korea—make that South Korea—for inspiration. But Seoul won't have the pennisula all to itself much longer if North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un gets his way.

According to an article in The Korea Times, North Korean cosmetics companies are improving the quality of their beauty products following the mantra: “More, better and faster world-class cosmetics.”

The focus on beauty is said to be inspired by Kim Jong-un's wife, Ri Sol-ju, who is well-known for her fashionable look and stylish outfits. Of course, when it comes to Communists and cosmetics, it's never all about beauty. According to one observer, Ri Sol-ju has convinced her husband that by focusing on the needs of women, the support of an entire family will follow, thus helping consolidate the Communist system—who knew liberty could be usurped by lipstick?

But orders are orders and two North Korean cosmetic factories—Pyongyang Cosmetics Factory and the Sinuiju Cosmetics Factory—recently started rapidly modernizing their products and producing new ones, according to The Korean Times. Despite these moves, we're guessing that AmorePacific and LG executives aren't looking over their shoulders just yet.

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