Workers at Pyongyang Cosmetics Factory. The sign above translates, "Let's make more and better products for the people." Photo by Yonhap
SEOUL, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- North Korea is touting its domestic cosmetics industry after Kim Jong Un called for an industrial evolution that could have North Korea products competing with global brands like Lancome, Chanel and Christian Dior.
A factory in Pyongyang, where North Korea's Unhasu cosmetics line is being made, was featured in a Chosun Today media segment Thursday, South Korean news service CBS No Cut News reported.
North Korea stated workers were engaged in a "determined struggle" to create "the world-class cosmetics brand Unhasu."
"In order to make an Unhasu cosmetics line that can stand shoulder to shoulder with global brands, the factory is actively striving to realize a lofty goal," Pyongyang said in statement.
North Korea said there are 80 kinds of cosmetics products available, and that items are customized for people according to purpose, use and even "hobbies."
Skin care and makeup products number in the dozens, according to state media.
Last February, Kim said North Korea must improve its waterproof mascara line.
"Foreign brands have mascara that stays on even after contact with water, but with [North Korean] products, when the wearer yawns, it leads to smudges and gives the user 'raccoon eyes,'" Kim reportedly said during the visit, adding the quality of North Korea products is not up to standard.
North Korea is preparing to launch a rare congress of the Workers' Party in May, possibly to discuss plans for economic growth in a country that is, in many ways, undergoing a remodeling.
South Korean analysts told Yonhap, however, the North's latest nuclear test has worsened investor sentiment, and Chinese businessmen are being discouraged from providing capital as tensions rise on the peninsula.
North Korea has insisted that nuclear and economic developments are compatible, but Seoul and Washington officials have said the two-track initiative will not work.