US ambassador to South Korea, Harry Harris, shaves off controversial mustache

US ambassador to South Korea, Harry Harris, shaves off controversial mustache
Harry Harris requested a barber in Seoul to take out his bushy facial hair right after suffering in the course of the sizzling and humid summer time in the South Korean funds, and the embassy posted a movie on Twitter documenting the encounter Saturday.

“With aid from his Senior Advisor @sykimsy, @USAmbROK Harris visited a classic area barbershop to develop into a very little ‘cooler’ in the course of the warm summer months,” the put up reads.

In the video clip, Harris complains about the modern temperature in Seoul right before sitting down down to get his mustache entirely shaved off by barber Mr Oh.

Harris afterwards wrote a put up-shave information on his have Twitter account.

“Glad I did this. For me it was possibly preserve the ‘stache or lose the mask. Summer season in Seoul is way as well hot & humid for equally,” he mentioned.

Mask-donning, tests and speak to tracing have been essential components of South Korea’s coronavirus reaction, which has been extensively praised.

So much, the nation has recorded just about 14,000 scenarios and 299 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins College.

Harris has been the US ambassador to South Korea considering the fact that July 2018, and his facial hair previously attracted bizarre criticism from a small section of modern society.

In January, Harris advised reporters his mustache had “for some rationale grow to be a stage of some fascination listed here in the media” soon after he was subjected to heated vitriol online.

The gist of the criticism was that with the mustache, Harris resembled the reviled Japanese leaders who ruled the Korean Peninsula with an iron fist for the duration of the Japanese profession from 1910 to 1945.

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Some of Japan’s most popular wartime leaders — which includes Emperor Hirohito and Hideki Tojo, the Key Minister who was later executed by a postwar tribunal– had mustaches.

Beneath Japanese rule, lots of Koreans had been brutalized, murdered and enslaved. It is in just living memory for aged Koreans and stays a really emotive subject in equally North and South Korea. In the latest years, troubles relating to Japanese reparations for its actions in Korea have come to be a point of competition concerning Japan and South Korea.

One more concern is that South Korea is a homogenous modern society in which combined-race family members are exceptional and xenophobia remains common.

Harris was born in Japan to a Japanese mom and American father, who was a Navy officer, and some online commentators have pointed to Harris’ heritage together with the mustache in their criticisms.

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But Harris is not Japanese, he’s a US citizen. And contacting him out for his Japanese ancestry would virtually certainly be viewed as racist in the United States.

“I realize the historical animosity that exists amongst each of the nations around the world but I am not the Japanese American ambassador to Korea, I’m the American ambassador to Korea,” claimed Harris in an job interview with Korea Occasions in December.

“And to just take that historical past and set it on me basically for the reason that of an accident of delivery I think is a mistake.”

CNN’s Joshua Berlinger contributed to this report.

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