12/13/2011 11:17 pm ET Updated Feb 12, 2012

North Korea: Kim Jong-un's Hair Is Fashion Hit

SEOUL, Dec 14 (Reuters) - North Korean heir-apparent
Kim Jong-un's slicked-back, high-sided haircut is a fashion hit
in Pyongyang where young men are apparently queueing up for a
similar cut.

Kim, believed to be in his late 20s and known as the "Young
General," is packaged to look like his late grandfather, the
secretive state's founder, Kim Il-sung.

The chubby youngest son of the current leader, Kim Jong-il,
slicks his hair back at the top, and has it trimmed to the scalp
to about an inch above the ears.

Completing the Kim Il-sung look, which experts say is
designed to help win over the public's support for dynastic
succession, the young Kim wears dark Mao-style suits.

The young Kim's haircut is dubbed a "youth" or "ambition"
hairstyle in North Korea, South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper
has reported.

Earlier this week, North Korean state news agency KCNA
quoted barber An Su-gil as saying the short-cut, medium-cut and
square-cut hairstyles are now popular among young men.

North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun wrote in September that
neat and short hair for young people makes them "captivating."

"A young man with (an) ambitious high sided haircut looks so
sobering and stylish," the paper added.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency said that North Korean
young men prefer short hairstyle for sanitary reasons, not just
because they want to look neat and ambitious.

Kim Jong-un emerged as the reclusive North's
leader-in-waiting last year when he was named a four-star
general and given a prominent post within the ruling party.

This year he has regularly been photographed alongside his
father during visits by foreign officials.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Jeremy Laurence, Elaine
Lies and Nick Macfie)