Kim Jong-un calls K-pop 'vicious cancer' corrupting North Korean youths

South Korean content influences a transformation in 'attire, hairstyles, speeches, behaviors' which can weaken his influence on the nation, essentially making it 'crumble like a damp wall'


                            Kim Jong-un calls K-pop 'vicious cancer' corrupting North Korean youths
Kim Jong-un wants to stop all South Korean entertainment content in North Korea including K-dramas and K-pop like BTS (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images/ Weverse)

Kim Jong-un is summoning a new cultural eradication by strengthening the ban on South Korean content. The news first learned by Daily NK through leaked internal documents shows that the North Korean Nation head is ensuring a halt on all South Korean Entertainment including K-dramas and K-pop through punishment that can reach up to 15 years of hard labor in work camps.

According to Jong-un, South Korean K-pop is like 'vicious cancer' which can cause a transformation in 'attire, hairstyles, speeches, behaviors' which can weaken his influence on the nation, essentially making it "crumble like a damp wall." A New York Times report states that the South Korean cultural ban has been announced from June 11 strictly where if found watching any form of South Korean entertainment can send someone from five years of hard labor to up to 15 years in labor camps.

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K-pop fans are famously social-media savvy, their power was evidenced in how they even interfered in the American electoral campaigns from last year. Fans took over the #whitelivesmatter hashtag on Twitter, filling it with posts of K-pop stars, and later that month then took credit for disrupting former president Donald Trump’s rally in Oklahoma  by reserving tickets they had no intention of using.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the joint press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in (not in pucture) at Paekhwawon State Guesthouse on September 19, 2018 in Pyongyang, North Korea (Getty Images)

Kim Jong-un's cultural ban on South Korean Entertainment

According to a survey done by Seoul National University’s Institute for Peace and Unification Studies, among 116 people who fled North Korea in 2018 or 2019, almost half of them said that they have watched South Korean entertainment in North Korea. Jong-un has emphasized that the sort of 'anti-socialist' cultural influence can be dangerous for the North Korean citizens and his rule. Jiro Ishimaru, chief editor of the Japanese website Asia Press International which has been keeping an eye on North Korea notes, "To Kim Jong-un, the cultural invasion from South Korea has gone beyond a tolerable level." Ishimaru added, "To Kim Jong-un, the cultural invasion from South Korea has gone beyond a tolerable level," NYT reported.

Earlier, a report stated that in an editorial in The Rondong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, people are only allowed to have 15 alternative haircuts approved in the country. The editorial added, “History teaches us a crucial lesson that a country can become vulnerable and eventually collapse like a damp wall regardless of its economic and defence power if we do not hold on to our own lifestyle. We must be wary of even the slightest sign of the capitalistic lifestyle and fight to get rid of them.” 

A North Korean defector sheds more light on the reason behind Kim Jong-un's need to ban the South Korean content. "Young North Koreans think they owe nothing to Kim Jong-un," says Jung Gwang-il, who works with a network that smuggles K-pop into the North writes Billboard. "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." 

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