The North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has called K-Pop a “vicious cancer” that is corrupting the culture of young North Koreans.
A North Korean media stated that “K-pop is corrupting and tainting young North Korean’s attire, hairstyles, speeches, and behavior. If left unchecked, it would make North Korea crumble like a damp wall.”
Over the years of separation, South Korean pop culture has often been smuggled across the border as many North Koreans get their hands on South Korean dramas and music illegally. However, with its growing influence across the world, the South Korean pop culture is gaining much more popularity in North Korea than it did ever before.
Korean Central News Agency
As a response, Kim Jong Un has commanded a strict measure to take control of the cultural influence that is quickly spreading against the country. North Korea has already put a ban and censorship on the content that the people of the country get access to. However, that has not stopped them from importing the content illegally.
One defector, Jung Gwang Il, stated, “Young North Koreans think they owe nothing to Kim Jong Un.” Jung Gwang Il is the defector from the North who runs a network that smuggles K-Pop into North Korea. Therefore, the younger generation seems to be much more influenced by the globalization of K-pop.
In addition, with the advancement of technology, even in North Korea, illegal import and smuggling of contents have gotten much easier while it has become more difficult for the government to regulate. South Korean entertainment is smuggled in flash drives from China as many young Noth Koreans watch these K-dramas and listen to K-pop behind closed doors.
Jiro Ishimaru, the chief editor of Asia Press International, a website in Japan that monitors North Korea, stated, “To Kim Jong Un, the cultural invasion from South Korea has gone beyond a tolerable level. If this is left unchecked, he fears that his people might start considering the South an alternative Korea to replace the North.”
With more and more North Koreans becoming exposed to South Korean culture and content, there are even further changes to North Korean speech. According to the article, there are some North Korean women who are calling their significant other “Oppa” rather than “comrade.” Such language has been called “perverted” by Kim Jong Un.
The North Korean government is moving to stricter monitoring as computers, text messages, music players, and notebooks are being searched for South Korean content. Families of individuals who are found to be using this South Korean language will be expelled from cities, with individuals found to smuggle in the content being punished in concentration camps.
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