North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has reportedly termed K-pop, the popular music genre from South Korea a ‘vicious cancer’ which is corrupting the nation’s youth, culture and their society, keeping in line with the country’s crackdown on ‘capitalistic lifestyle’ and Western country influences on youths. The state-run newspaper had recently warned the nation of doing more to stop “capitalistic culture from seeping into the country”, as was reported by South Korean broadcaster Yonhap news agency.
The New York Times reported that Kim Jong Un said the music and its influence harmed the ‘attire, hairstyles, speeches, behaviors’ of North Koreans and that it could also make North Korea ‘crumble like a damp wall’.
Back in December, the North Korean President had reportedly introduced new laws stipulating that anyone caught watching or possessing South Korean content could be sentenced to up to 15 years of hard labour. The previous maximum punishment for fans of popular acts such as BTS was five years. However, now, K-pop smugglers could reportedly face execution while those caught singing, speaking or writing in a “south Korean style” could be sentenced to two years at a work camp.
In order to eradicate the “perverse” K-pop phenomenon, North Korean officials have been reportedly ordered to search computers, text messages and notebooks for South Korean vernacular. People caught mimicking the “puppet accent” could also be banished from cities, as per the documents.
The provincial Youth League has also issued an order on hairstyles it deems proper to sport. Hairstyles such as mullets and spikes have been considered ‘anti-social’.
Ripped or skinny jeans, T-shirts sporting slogans and nose and lip piercings have also been banned. Officials in North Korea are also cracking down on pop music after the popularity of South Korean K-pop bands such as BTS and Blackpink.