‘Envy the world/ Envy us/ In the faith of the enemy/ Our
People who became loyal subjects’ These lyrics, which may sound awkward to Koreans and even feel repulsive, suddenly resonate with a familiar melody. This is a scene from North Korea’s “New Year’s Celebration Performance,” where suspicions of plagiarizing K-pop online have recently spread. The song in question appeared on the 7th in a 3-minute 13-second video posted on Samjiyon, a YouTube channel for North Korean system propaganda.
In this video, North Korean singer Jeong Hong-ran sings a song titled ‘Envy us’ with the chorus team at the New Year’s celebration held on the 1st, adding excitement to the performance.
The interlude part in the middle of the song became a hot topic among domestic netizens. The song, which felt rather old-fashioned, turned into a sophisticated atmosphere as it entered the interlude. In this part, it was noticeable that the video was edited with a quick screen transition while emphasizing the choreography.
‘Envy us’ was initially sung by the Cheongbong Band, and it is known that Jeong Hong-ran sang a newly arranged version in this performance.
Netizens each expressed their opinion that the interpolation part is similar to ‘FINGERTIP’ released in 2017 by K-pop idol group GFriend.
In the online community ‘Instiz,’ more than 100 comments were posted on a recently uploaded related article. Instiz users responded confidently of plagiarism, such as “It’s so identical,” “I used it as it is, but it’s embarrassing that it melted well without any sense of difference,” and “The fingertips can be so tacky.”
Other users also commented, “The lyrics (for system propaganda) are so pitiful,” and “It would be punishable just to watch Korean content, but composers aren’t punished anyway.”
Some netizens satirized the North Korean regime by comparing GFriend’s choreography to shoot a gun to the lyrics, such as “Dang-dang-tang fingertips, I’ll aim at your heart/Dang-dang-dang fingertips, make your heart stop.”
In the online community ‘Theku,’ “I’ll aim for the bang-bang-tang book tip. Comments such as “Dang-dang-dang, stop the North Geotip revolution” and “Is it suryong pop?” were posted.
On ‘DC Inside’ (DC), a video was uploaded with the subtitle’ Creation – Lee Yong-bae, Singing – Female Companion’ by transforming the girlfriend who sang ‘Fingertip’ and composer Lee Yong-bae.
Professor Kang Dong-won of Donga University, who published ‘Kim Jong-un’s Music Politics,’ mentioned this issue on his YouTube channel.
Professor Kang said, “I asked a professional musician to compare the two songs, and the two songs were expressed with the same note name,” and, “I think it should be regarded as plagiarism.”
He said, “During the Gugujeol performance on September 9 of last year (the day of the establishment of the North Korean regime), singers Kim Yu-Kyung and Jung Hong-ran appeared and sang a song arranged in the style of a South Korean song in the R&B ballad style. . It was a groundbreaking change,” he said, saying that there was a similar case.
Professor Kang said, “The new generation of North Koreans is now addicted to South Korean songs, and the North Korean authorities are controlling them. However, since it is impossible to continue cracking down and controlling it, he gave an order to ‘make a song that is higher level than South Korean songs'” and analyzed the background of the songs arranged in a South Korean style.
He continued, “But the reason North Koreans fall for South Korean songs is that they deal with love and life,” and asked, “Do they like North Korean songs that have the same lyrics that say, ‘Let’s give our lives for Kim Jong-un’ just because they plagiarize the rhythm or beat?” expressed.