Photo: South Korean boy band BTS | By Gabrielle Sanchez, Yahoo | North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un worries K-pop will topple his totalitarian state through importing “attire, hairstyles, speeches, behaviors.” He now calls for stricter punishments for the young North Koreans who smuggle or consume any South Korean content, and encourages fellow North Koreans to report their neighbors for watching the newest BTS music video.
In an effort to strengthen his struggling grip on the North Korean youth, Kim Jong-Un seeks to eliminate the influence of K-pop and K-dramas. This new battle is just a continuation of an ongoing culture war against South Korea, which began in the ‘90s with bootlegged entertainment.
According the The New York Times, the newest censorship law calls for 5 to 15 years in labor camps for anyone caught in possession of or watching South Korean entertainment. Those who smuggle the material into North Korean may face even harsher punishments, including the death penalty. North Koreans who, “speak, write or sing in South Korean style,” are subject to two years of hard labor.
Currently, most of the South Korean materials enter the country on flash drives through China, and their influence on North Koreans manifests through language and accent changes. Women in North Korea have adopted the phrase “oppa,” for their male romantic partners in lieu of the state sanctioned “comrade,” and those who “imitat[e] the puppet accent” from the South in conversations or text messages face expulsion from their cities.
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[Editor’s note: This story reminds me SOOOOO of when Elvis first appeared. Parents, politicians, “do-gooders” and more said our young people would be corrupted by Elvis!]
Photo: BTS: Watch out Kim Jong-Un, they’re coming for your government!