In a cultural war against South Korea, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has dismissed K-pop as a ‘vicious cancer’ corrupting young North Koreans.
According to a report in the New York Times, Kim Jong accused the South Korean pop of corrupting North Korean youngsters’ attire, hairstyles, speech and behaviour.
Also, the dictator has called K-pop, K-dramas and movies “anti-socialist and nonsocialist” influence, which would make North Korea “crumble like a damp wall.”
The complete U-turn in the North Korean dictator’s attitude towards K-pop comes years after a two-hour performance by South Korean artists in Pyongyang had left Kim “deeply moved” in 2018.
This also comes at a time when youth in the country appear to be challenging Kim Jong Un leadership. NYT reported: “’Young North Koreans think they owe nothing to Kim Jong-un,’ said Jung Gwang-il, a defector from the North who runs a network that smuggles K-pop into North Korea. ‘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.'”
The smuggling of entertainment material within the Korean peninsula seems to be removing the smokescreen of propaganda set by Kim Jong Un. Young North Koreans learned that while they struggled to find enough food to eat during a famine, people in the South were going on diets to lose weight.