Kim Jong Un: K-pop is a ‘vicious cancer’ that merits work camp, execution
Amid increasing cultural influence from South Korea, the 37-year-old North Korean leader is imposing harsher penalties on citizens caught listening to “perverse” K-pop music.
The secretive anti-K-pop campaign came to light through internal documents smuggled out of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) by the Seoul-based news source Daily NK, the New York Times first reported Friday. These were then made public by South Korean legislators.
The newly slimmed-down DPRK despot had dubbed the Southern cultural imports a “vicious cancer” corrupting North Korean youths’ “attire, hairstyles, speeches, behaviors” à la the dancing in the ’80s movie “Footloose” — but with a much darker bent.
In an apparent bid to launch his own brand of cancel culture, Kim introduced new laws in December stipulating that anyone caught watching or possessing South Korean content could be sentenced to up to 15 years of hard labor. The previous maximum punishment for fans of popular acts such as BTS was five years.
If that wasn’t harsh enough, K-pop smugglers could even face execution while those caught singing, speaking or writing in a “South Korean style” could be sentenced to two years at a work camp, per the smuggled documents.
South Korean entertainment has long been smuggled across the DPRK border, initially in cassette form and eventually, as flash drives from China. However, the “Hermit Kingdom” honcho has ramped up the the anti-capitalist rhetoric in recent months as he sees his nation become increasingly susceptible to the cultural stylings from the South, the Daily Mail reported.
Meanwhile, in February, Kim — whose family has ruled the country for three generations — ordered the nation’s provinces, cities and counties to clamp down on increasing capitalist influence.