Could North Korean cosmetics soon be available to global consumers?

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Could North Korean cosmetics soon be available to global consumers?
Beauty products from North Korea may soon be available globally as leader Kim Jong Un again highlighting the potential of the country’s cosmetics sector.

In observance of North Korea’s 70th​ anniversary last week, journalists from around the world were invited to learn more about its manufacturing facilities, including the Pyongyang Cosmetics Factory.

This is not the first time the site has appeared in the media. Last October, the North Korean leader made a highly publicised visit to the plant along with his sister and wife.

A North Korean beauty

Pyongyang Cosmetics Factory, which was established in the 1960s, produces shampoo, skin care, make up, and fragrances under the brand Unhasu.

According to Kyodo News​, an employee of the factory confidently stated that the quality of the products they produce is on par with the most popular global brands.

The employee added that Unhasu is not just popular domestically, but overseas as well. It is currently exported to five countries, including China, Russia and Iran.

Unhasu is not the only known beauty brand from North Korea. As reported by the state’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim is apparently a fan of Pomhyanggi, a brand famous for “cosmetics with a spring scent”

 In July this year, Kim toured Sinuiju Cosmetics Factory, the country’s first large-scale cosmetics plant, where Pomhyanggi is produced.

The Rodong Sinmun​ reported that during his visit, Kim encouraged the factory to continue improving and innovating, warning them not to rest on their laurels even though Pomhyanggi has been very popular among the people.

He even suggested that Pomhyanggi should have its own “fashionable shop”​ in the nation’s capital.

Focus on economic development

Kyodo News​ observed during the trip that North Korea was using the media opportunity to showcase the country’s economic empowerment as well as attract foreign investment.

It added that slogans and signs emphasising the nation's nuclear prowess were absent from major sites in Pyongyang.

Another sign that the country is ready to shift its focus away from military weapons is its 70th​ anniversary parade. Unlike previous celebrations, the country chose not to showcase any advanced missile systems.

Instead, Kim Yong Nam, head of the country’s parliament stressed in his opening speech that Pyongyang has already achieved its desired military might, and that the focus for the country would now be on economic development.

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