Mustache of contention: why the Korean media has forced the US Ambassador to shave

U.S. Ambassador to South Korea was forced to shave off his mustache after a campaign of discontent in the local press, who criticized the diplomats for what his appearance it reminds Koreans about the heavy past, when the country was a colony of Japan, BBC reports.

Усы раздора: почему корейские СМИ заставили посла США побриться

Photo frame YouTube videos/KOREA NOW

Harry Binkley Harris, in the recent past Admiral of the U.S. Navy, visited the Barber shop in Central Seoul, where he asked to relieve him of facial hair.

The Ambassador said that he did it only because Seoul is very hot without that mustache, he’s easier to tolerate heat.

Mustache American diplomat, according to South Korean press, reminded the inhabitants of the country that looked like the officers of the Japanese army. Korea was a Japanese colony between 1910 and 1945.

South Korean commentators and politicians say that the mustache Harry Harris awakened memories of the difficult years of Japanese occupation. Moustache exactly this style was worn by the Japanese governors and many of the officers.

Harris himself was born in Japan, his mother was a Japanese woman who married an American sailor. After graduating the naval Academy of the United States in Annapolis, Harris rose to the rank of Admiral. As head of US Pacific command, he became the most senior U.S. military of Japanese origin.

After retiring from the ranks of the Navy in 2018, Harris was appointed as Ambassador to Seoul. Then the relationship between South Korea and the United States was relatively strained, although Seoul remains a key military and economic partner of Washington.

In South Korea stationed over 28 thousand American troops to prevent any possible aggression from North Korea, which has already invaded the South of the Peninsula in 1950, after which began the Korean war.

The American Ambassador in Seoul has already called the fire of criticism, as urged South Korea to allocate more resources to defense, and also to change the policy of Seoul towards Pyongyang.

In December 2019, the newspaper Korea Times wrote that Harris ‘ moustache show disrespect towards the country and its inhabitants.

Усы раздора: почему корейские СМИ заставили посла США побриться

Photo: a video frame YouTube/Lowy Institute

Such mustache were the Japanese commanders of world war II: of Hideki Tojo, Baron Sadao Araki and Shunroku field Marshal Hata.

But, as the historians say, at that time, many local leaders had a similar mustache, including, for example, Chiang Kai-shek.

Harris himself 40 years in the us Navy, always appearing impeccably shaven. In an interview with the Korea Times he said he decided to grow a moustache as a symbol of the beginning of a new phase of his career as a diplomat.

But in the same interview he said he’ll shave if it becomes clear that a mustache interfere with the relationship between South Korea and the United States. He did not fail to do.

The Ambassador himself said that was criticized in the Korean press only because of its Japanese origin.


South Korea