Moustache of Discord: South Koreans Find US Ambassador’s Facial Hair Disrespectful

Apart from his personal appearance Harry Harris has angered South Koreans with his support for Donald Trump’s demands to increase payment for US military protection to $5 million, as the country hosts more than 28,000 American servicemen.

The US ambassador to South Korea has been accused of insulting the host country by… sporting a thick moustache. South Koreans say that Harris’ facial hair and ancestry reminds them of the days when the country was ruled by Japan. The 63-year-old, is a former Navy admiral, who was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and US military officer.

The ambassador said he was being singled out because of his background and noted that he had decided to grow a moustache to mark a new period in his life. “I wanted to make a break between my life as a military officer and my new life as a diplomat. I tried to get taller, but I couldn’t grow any taller, and so I tried to get younger, but I couldn’t get younger. But I could grow a moustache, so I did that”, Harris said in an interview with The Korea Times.

The newspaper said that Harris’ moustache has become associated with the “US latest image of being disrespectful and even coercive” toward Korea. Harris was criticised both online and offline for being more like a governor-general than an ambassador, a reference to South Korea’s troubled colonial past. Social media users noted that all Japanese governors-general wore thick moustaches.

Harris also drew harsh criticism from South…

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