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US ambassador shaves off mustache to stay masked in summer amid pandemic

(US Ambassador Harry Harris' Twitter account-Yonhap)
(US Ambassador Harry Harris' Twitter account-Yonhap)

US Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris has figured out a way to stay cooler in a hot and humid Seoul while keeping his mask on amid the coronavirus pandemic -- go clean-shaven.

Harris is now a mustache-free man after removing his signature facial hair at an old barbershop in central Seoul, a video posted on his Twitter page showed.

In the video clip, the ambassador says he thought he had to do something to "get cooler" during the muggy and hot summer in the host country while at the same time complying with the coronavirus guideline by wearing a mask.

Guided by one of his advisers, he visited the classic barbershop, where he briefly consulted the barber about removing his facial hair before lying back comfortably in a salon chair. 

The video clip then shows Harris before and after the shaving. Harris exclaims that it's a face he hasn't seen in years while looking in a mirror.

His mustache had been a source of attention, with critics saying it reminds South Koreans of the ones worn by Japanese governor-generals when Korea was a Japanese colony from 1910-45. Harris is born to a Japanese mother.

Harris, a retired Navy admiral who took office as the US envoy in 2018, has told local media that he decided to grow the mustache as a sign of starting a new career as a diplomat and that he would keep it unless someone convinced him that it hurt the bilateral relationship between Washington and Seoul. (Yonhap)
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