The supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un has reportedly described K-pop music as a “vicious cancer”. He has also alleged that their music is corrupting the younger generation of the country.
Simultaneously, the supreme leader has also declared a new cultural war to stop the widespread acknowledgment of South Korean music and movies (the K-dramas and K-pop videos). He is conducting a secretive anti-K-pop campaign to accomplish his goals, according to a report by the New York Times.
The NYT report has also cited a South Korea- based news source, called Daily NK that first learned about this new culture war. It was leaked through the internal documents from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
In December 2020, Kim Jong reportedly 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, the felony can result in up to 15 years of imprisonment in hard labour camps.
The Kim family has ruled over North Korea for more than 70 years. Now, since Kim Jong worries that the K-pop and K-dramas are loosening his grip on the youth, he introduced the worst punishments for those found guilty, including the death penalty.
According to Kim, the popular culture of the South is corrupting the “attire, hairstyles, speeches, behaviour” of North Korean youths.
“Young North Koreans think they owe nothing to Kim Jong-un,” Jung Gwang-il, a North Korean defector who runs a network that smuggles K-pop into the North told the daily. “He must reassert his ideological control on the young if he doesn’t want to lose the foundation for the future of his family’s dynastic rule,” Gwang-il added.