Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of North Korea, has reportedly described K-pop music as a “vicious cancer”, corrupting the country’s younger generation.
Therefore, the leader declared a new culture war to stop the dissemination of South Korean music and films (K-dramas and K-pop videos) to its citizens through a secret anti-K campaign. -pop, according to a New York Times report.
The NYT report cites a South Korea-based news source called Daily NK that first learned of this new culture war from leaked internal documents from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
In December 2020, Kim Jong introduced a series of new laws that increased the level of punishment for owning or watching South Korean entertainment. In North Korea, if someone watches a South Korean drama or video or listens to K-pop music, it will result in up to 15 years in prison in forced labor camps.
The Kim family dynasty has ruled North Korea for over 70 years. Now, as Kim Jong fears South Korean entertainment has loosened its grip on young people, he plans to impose tougher sentences on those found guilty of smuggling such content, including the death penalty.
Kim believes that southern popular culture corrupts the “dress, hairstyles, speeches, demeanor” of North Korean youth.
“Young North Koreans think they owe Kim Jong-un nothing,” Jung Gwang-il, a North Korean defector who runs a K-pop smuggling ring in the North, told the daily. “He must reaffirm his ideological control over the young if he does not want to lose the foundations for the future of his family’s dynastic regime,” Gwang-il added.
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