Some people dislike K-pop music and that’s okay ’cause, you know, it’s personal preference – but THIS is taking it to the extreme…
The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un is initiating a crackdown on those caught listening to K-Pop music in North Korea, calling the pop culture a “vicious cancer” to young people.
According to The New York Times, the leader’s plan to suppress K-pop music was revealed through internal documents smuggled out of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. They deemed the southern cultural imports as actively manipulating North Korean children to alter their “attire, hairstyles, speeches and behaviours”.
To counteract that, Kim created new laws in December 2020 announcing that anyone caught possessing or engaging in South Korean content could be sentenced to 5 years of hard labour at a work camp.
K-pop smugglers themselves could also face execution, and those caught even writing, singing, or speaking in a “South Korean style” could face up to two years of internment at a work camp.
In fact, back in May, a North Korean man was executed after he got caught collecting bootleg K-pop entertainment.
Meanwhile, North Korean media recently warned their citizens that K-Pop could cause North Korea to “crumble like a damp wall” if it is not stopped.
“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 as an alternative Korea to replace the North,” said Jiro Ishimaru, chief editor of Asia Press International, a Japanese website that monitors North Korea.
Besides K-Pop, it is reported that Kim has become increasingly hostile towards other international cultural influences, going as far as to outlaw mullets and skinny jeans in an effort to stop western influence over the past year.