North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has defined K-pop (K-pop) as a ‘vicious cancer’ and has thoroughly rejected the Korean Wave.
According to the New York Times report on the 10th (local time), Kim Jong-un is campaigning against K-pop, defining K-pop as a ‘cancer’ that corrupts North Korean youth. Kim Jong-un strongly warned that the system could collapse if it did not prevent capitalist culture invasion.
As part of measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19), it is known that there is a high demand for Korean music and dramas among North Koreans as they control movement between regions and spend more time at home.
In particular, North Korea’s MZ generation (young people born in the early 1980s to 2000s) continue to consume Korean movies, dramas, and K-pop despite the oppression of being “anti-social.” Daily NK reported that six students were sentenced to prison for secretly watching a Korean drama. Also, last year, three soldiers in their 20s who were directly affiliated with the Air Force and Anti-Air Force Command were dragged away after dancing BTS’s ‘Blood Sweat and Tears’ dance at an entertainment event.
A North Korean defector who runs a network that illegally distributes K-pop to North Korea said, “North Korean young people don’t think they owe anything to Kim Jong-un.
Jiro Ishimaru, editor-in-chief of Asia Press International, pointed out that “South Korea’s cultural aggression is beyond what Kim Jong-un and North Korea can tolerate.”
According to a North Korean government document released by this media, young North Koreans search for South Korean content and tone. It is stated that North Korean women used to refer to men they were dating as ‘comrades’ but began to call them ‘brother’ under the influence of K-dramas such as ‘Crash Landing on You.’
This is not the first time North Korea has vehemently criticized its ideological and cultural aggression. The radio and television that North Koreans encounter are preset to receive only government broadcasts, and Internet use is regulated.
Enforcement squads sometimes deter men with long hair and women in short skirts and tight pants. According to the Russian embassy in Pyongyang, North Koreans are the only ones who can dye black.
At the end of last year, North Korea enacted the “Reactionary Ideology Culture Rejection Act,” raising the maximum sentence for distributing South Korean videos to the death penalty and strengthening the maximum prison sentence for viewers from five years to 15 years.