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North Korea compares cosmetics factory to Chanel, Shiseido

By
Elizabeth Shim
North Korea's Pyongyang Cosmetics Factory has been promoted by Kim Jong Un. File Photo by KCNA
North Korea's Pyongyang Cosmetics Factory has been promoted by Kim Jong Un. File Photo by KCNA

Sept. 18 (UPI) -- North Korea reportedly invited foreign media to a state-run cosmetics factory in Pyongyang -- but only Chinese state media had issued a report on Tuesday.

The Global Times reported the factory was opened to outside media on Sept. 8, but the article was not published until this week.

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Visitors to the Pyongyang Cosmetics Factory were told the plant's "Unhasu lotion" was a high-quality product that retailed for $90. It "rivals" products from Chanel and Japanese firm Shiseido, according to the report.

Lee Seon Hee, a North Korean engineer at the factory, said Unhasu is a serious contender in the competitive skincare market.

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"Our beloved leader sent us 138 kinds of cosmetic products from different world-famous brands, and we have made a detailed analysis," Lee was quoted as saying. "We developed our own products on the basis of the analysis. As you can see, our products have caught up with or even surpassed these international brands in terms of nutrition constituents."

Pyongyang media have promoted the factory in the past. In 2015 and again in 2017, Kim Jong Un visited the plant and praised the factory's workers.

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"People use cosmetics to stay young. Therefore, we got a grip on the research and development of anti-aging products with sheer medicinal materials that boast natural effects, and the extraction is also done in our factory with high-tech equipment," Lee said, according to Chinese media.

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Kim has stayed away from weapons tests in 2018 and has placed greater emphasis on the economy.

On the sidelines of the third inter-Korea summit, North Korean officials are holding meetings with top South Korean business executives to discuss cooperation.

South Korean newspaper Hankyoreh reported top representatives from Samsung, Hyundai, SK and LG met with North Korean Deputy Prime Minister Ri Ryong Nam.

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Seoul's presidential Blue House said Wednesday the business executives are in Pyongyang at "Seoul's request."

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