North Korea recently launched a drastic crackdown on privately-run barbershops and beauty salons.
A source in North Hamgyong Province’s Daily NK said on Tuesday that police in Chongjin have closed privately owned barbershops and beauty salons since late August.
“In addition to the crackdown, authorities are forcing private barbers and hairdressers to work for state-run service providers,” he said.
While North Korea has state-run barbershops and beauty salons, it also has privately owned hair salons that operate illegally.
Unlike state-owned shops, which must pay taxes to the state, private barbershops and hairdressers do not pay taxes, allowing operators to take home all the money they earn.
For this reason, many North Koreans run illegal barbershops and beauty salons as a way to make a living since the 1990s “March of Hardships” when the official distribution system collapsed.
Independently owned barbershops and beauty salons are especially popular with young people because they give you the cut you want.
State-run barbershops and beauty salons offer set menus, so they tend to be used by middle-aged and older people who are not sensitive to trends. Poor people also use them because they are relatively cheap.
However, North Korea has cracked down on independent barbershops and beauty salons, deeming them an illegal means of making money and an “anti-socialist and non-socialist act” that promotes “individualism.” ing. This suggests that the authorities are aiming to collect public money for the national treasury by eliminating illegal facilities and instead letting them use state-run facilities.
In late August, Kiyotsu police launched an intensive crackdown on commercial haircutting at home and on the street, stating that “individually run barbershops and beauty salons are an individualistic, antisocial force that fosters social instability. It is the product of socialist and non-socialist actions.” hindrance. “
In particular, the city police fined those caught in the crackdown 100,000 won and threatened criminal penalties depending on the severity of the violation.
“When people were starving to death, the government pretended to be stupid, but now it’s stealing people’s livelihoods too,” the source claimed. He responded by saying that the country should be grateful that he was able to survive on his own.
“The government is using the police to crack down on people running private barbershops and beauty salons, but there is also a lot of resistance,” People. “
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