Cheeky ad makes N Korean agents see redComment on this story
It is the must-have hairdo in North Korea. In fact it is the only style approved by communist dictator Kim Jong-un.
The Supreme Leader decreed last month that all young men should follow his short back and sides with centre parting - or face severe punishment.
But Kim clearly did not expect his edict to be taken up thousands of miles from Pyongyang in a leafy London suburb.
So when his agents saw a promotional poster in a hair salon featuring their leader and his distinctive crop, they leapt furiously into action.
The North Korean officials marched in demanding the “disrespectful” advert be taken down.
However, the salon manager took fright at their threatening behaviour and called the police.
Mo Nabbach, who runs M&M Hair Academy in South Ealing, told officers that he feared for his livelihood after using the picture as a joke to promote a discount for men’s haircuts.
He chose the photograph following the dictator’s much publicised edict that all male students in the rogue state must have the same razor-short look.
Below the large image of the tyrant, the poster reads: “Bad Hair Day? 15% off all gent cuts through the month of April”.
It had been in the salon window for only one day before he received a sinister visit from the North Korean officials, whose embassy is less than two miles away in a converted semi in Gunnersbury.
The two men in suits entered the salon at 4.30pm last Friday bearing a clipboard. They confronted Mr Nabbach’s 26-year-old hairdresser son Karim, demanding to know who was responsible for the perceived outrage.
“The irony is they didn’t even have the Kim Jong-un haircut, they just had a standard side parting,” said Mr Nabbach, 51.
“To tell you the truth, it was actually a bit scary. From all the stuff you hear about North Korea, it was worrying. The two guys were wearing suits and they were very serious. It was very threatening. They came in and asked what the poster was doing in the window and demanded for it to be taken down. “I said it was only a poster and we have pictures of celebrities in the window all the time.
“They said, “We are North Korean officials, do you know this is our leader?”. They asked for my name. I told them, “This is not North Korea, this is England, we live in a democracy so I’m afraid you’re going to have to get out of my salon’.”
The pair left after taking notes and photographs of the premises. Mr Nabbach went to Ealing police station to report the matter.
He initially removed the poster, fearing that either he or the shop could be targeted.
But following complaints from customers and locals about a “breach of democracy”, the poster was put back up, prompting a further visit at 10am the next day. A communist official stood outside taking photographs of the salon until Karim chased him off.
Karim, who designed the poster, said: “We had just put it up. I thought it was a bit of fun.
“We usually put celebrities up for offers on haircuts. Obviously in the current news there has been this story that North Korean men are only allowed one haircut.
“It was just tongue in cheek - I mean it’s ridiculous you can only have one haircut over there.”
Scotland Yard later received calls from the two protesting officials and the North Korean embassy. “We didn’t realise, but the North Korean embassy is a ten-minute walk from the salon,” said Karim, adding that most of his clients opt for styles sported on TV in The Only Way Is Essex, rather than in Pyongyang
His father, who has run the Ealing salon for 23 years, said generously of the Kim Jong-un look: “It was honestly not because we thought he had a funny haircut, it was just in the news recently.
“We thought people would notice the picture and see the humour in it, then hopefully come in.
“Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with the haircut - it’s just the centre parting that needs some work!”
A spokesman at the North Korean embassy said: “Our embassy is not in a position to comment on that story.” A police spokesman said: “We have spoken to all parties involved and no offence has been disclosed.” - Daily Mail