Kim Jong-un brands K-Pop music a ‘vicious cancer’ worthy of execution

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K-Pop, short for Korean popular music, has become hugely successful with acts like BTS and Blackpink enjoying global fame. But the North Korean dictator has announced a brutal crackdown on South Korean tunes.

The hermit state leader thinks “perverse” K-Pop is culturally influencing the country’s youth.

He views South Korean cultural imports as a “vicious cancer” corrupting North Korean youths’ “attire, hairstyles, speeches, behaviours”, The New York Times reports.

According to local reports, new laws were introduced in December stipulating that anyone caught watching or possessing South Korean content could be sentenced to up to 15 years of hard labour.

Those caught singing, speaking or writing in a “South Korean style” could be sentenced to two years at a work camp.

Those who smuggle K-Pop or other South Korean media could even face execution.

Reports of the strict punishments come from the Daily NK, and were then made public by South Korean lawmakers.

In May, a citizen was killed by firing squad for selling bootleg South Korean music.

In February, Kim ordered the nation’s provinces, cities and counties to clamp down on increasing capitalist influence from South Korean media

Experts and former North Korean citizens have said young people in the country are more likely to adopt outside customs and challenge Kim’s authority.

Jiro Ishimaru, chief editor of Asia Press International, said: “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 an alternative Korea to replace the North.”

Jung Gwang-il, a North Korean defector who smuggles K-pop into the country, added: “Young North Koreans think they owe nothing to Kim Jong-un.

“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 bans also cover “decadent” western influences, such as mullet hairstyles and skinny jeans, according to North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

The state media paper wrote in May: “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.”

North Koreans can choose from between 15 approved hairstyles under the country’s laws, it has been claimed.

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