Plastic surgery catching on in the DPRK

This is an interesting aticle from the Daily NK:

Plastic surgery has been prvalent in the DPRK for some time. In Shinuiju it accounts for more than 60% of the famle population.

Trader Kim Man Gil (pseudonym, 53) who trades in shoes and clothes coming and going to Shinuiju and Dandong said that, “North Korean […] women have increasingly gotten plastic surgery on the eyes”, and “At a glance, more than half of young women walking in the streets have traces of plastic surgery”.

North Korean has implicitly allowed plastic surgery hospitals in Pyongyang, Chongjin and Shinuiju to operate for simple double-eyelids plastic surgery and tattoo eyebrows. Officially the North Korean government does not permit plastic surgery, yet defectors said that in big cities plastic surgery is overtly done with connivance. (NKeconwatch is skeptical of this claim.  In Pyongyang there is a hospital that does plastic surgery, and a simple gift can get you an appointment.)

Regarding women who work at North Korean tourist resorts, the North Korean government exceptionally and actively pursued plastic surgery. It is an already well known fact through witnesses of North Korean women living in North Korea.

Mr. Kim said that, “It was from 2004 that plastic surgery of non-licensed operators, not of doctors, has been in vogue”, and “Although the government does not let plastic surgery, because of very extensive popularity, there have hardly been practical crack-downs on it.

He also said that, “Because in Shinuiju many people are working at the workplaces related to Foreign Currency Earning departments and thus well-off, they have enough money to get plastic surgery”, and “Yet women who do not have enough money tend to get plastic surgery even by selling food”.

He said that, “However, in counties or districts away from Shinuiju most of people have no money so that one of three children in a family could not go to school. The gulf between rich and poor is really wide and serious”.

He said that, “Plastic surgery items are limited to relatively simple double-eyelids surgery and tattooing eyebrows. As for Shinuiju, 60% of single women without double eyelids seemed to get plastic surgery”. Subsequently, he said that, “North Korean women and Chinese women are all the same in that women want to be pretty”.

The feature of North Korean double-eyelids plastic surgery is that after an operation, lower eyelids are rather thick, so that eyes look artificial, not natural.

Plastic surgery on one eye cost 500W ($0.17) in 2004, yet now is quoted 1,500 won($0.5) in 2006. Both eyes cost 3,000 won, and 1 dollar if converting into U.S dollar. As for tattooing eyebrows, it costs one eyebrow 200 won($0.067) in 2004, and now 500 won.  (talk about price competition)

In order to confirm that 60% of young women living in Shinuiju got double-eyelids plastic surgery Daily NK contacted a North Korean insider. During the confirmation, we were asked “Why does to be pretty sound strange? Because it does not cost much, wealthy women already got plastic surgery or try to get it”.

Mr. Kim said “Almost all the people have gotten plastic surgery through recommendations of other people. And well-known surgery operators would make great money”.

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