Kim Jong-un Bans Leather Coats After Skinny Jeans & K-Pop

It wasn’t enough for Kim Jong-un to ban North Korean citizens from indulging in K-Pop, haircuts and skinny jeans. The dictator has expanded his crackdowns, forbidding leather coats in a bid to stop his subjects from stealing his personal style — for real.

As laid out in a thorough report by the American government-funded Radio Free Asia, North Korean sources have said that Kim’s regime is keeping ordinary citizens from wearing leather coats to imitate his own looks.

Why coats and not just jackets? Because Kim himself has been fond of a double-breasted leather trench since 2019.

Further leather-clad appearances from Kim and his sister, Kim Yo-Jong, solidified the layering piece’s popularity amidst North Korean men and women, despite the imposing prices.

Reportedly, North Koreans will have to cough up ₩170,000 won (about $34), and ₩80k (about $16) for real and fake leather coats, respectively; Radio Free Asia uses figures from South Korean paper Korea Joongang Daily that estimate a North Korean citizen’s average monthly income to be ₩4,000 ($0.66).

Though leather coats are very much a splurge for the country’s impoverished subjects, the garment has been en vogue within North Korea since the early 2000s.

Kim’s latest dictum has spurred a spate of disrobings from Pyongsong police, who strip citizens of their hard-won leathers in the street.

In response to people complaining about the loss of their expensive outerwear, North Korean police said that “wearing clothes designed to look like the Highest Dignity’s is an ‘impure trend to challenge the authority of the Highest Dignity,'” according to a Radio Free Asia source.

The police then “instructed the public not to wear leather coats, because it is part of the party’s directive to decide who can wear them.”

Basically, as social media users have been saying, Kim is keeping people from stealing “his drip.”

That being said, although Kim’s fashion bans are amusing from a distance (no sympathy for the skinny jean), we do not have to “give it to” the dictator just because a few of his new laws are sort of funny.

I mean, the guy still oversees one of the most authoritarian, despotic regimes in the world.

This proclamation is mostly about dividing the haves and have-nots. It’s all about keeping North Korean citizens subservient and restricting them from enjoying any of the luxuries afforded to those in power.

It’s hardly new terrain, though: each of Kim’s utterances is in service of restricting his citizens’ freedoms, even the seemingly funny ones.

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