Are male North Korean students really being forced to wear Kim Jong Un haricuts?

By Daniel S Levine,

If a rumor gets reported by enough sites on the Internet, it must be true, right? Even the BBC picked up on a report about male North Korean university students being forced to wear their hair just like dictator Kim Jong Un. However, it turns out that the report was completely untrue.

The rumor started on Radio Free Asia and was picked up by the Korean Times. Suddenly, the story went viral and is still trending on Facebook. But The Associated Press spoke with people who were recently in Pyongyang and they said it was not true.

“I was there just a few days ago, and no sign of that," Simon Cockerell of Koryo Tours told the AP. “It's definitely not true.”

A journalist for the AP, who is in Pyongyang, also said that he hadn’t noticed any university students changing their hairstyles suddenly.

Not only is the report about the male hairstyle false, but so was another viral rumor that women could only pick a state-sanctioned hairdo. However, the AP does note that the regime does have “fashion police” in the last decade, trying to keep men from having long hair.

While stories like these go viral about North Korea, it is important to remember that a United Nations panel tried to get the word out that Kim and his top officials should be tried against humanity last month.

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