In a recent Korean news segment, experts on North Korea discussed the impact of K-Pop in the North. Its popularity has driven the situation to the extent of which citizens are taking extreme measures to ‘smuggle’ the genre into the country. While this sounds interesting, I’m also not surprised. I mean, have you HEARD some of this stuff? If my country were run by an evil dictator that forbid catchy tunes and sharp choreography, I’d sneak in some BTS too.
G-Dragon in particular was highly recognized among North Koreans, with his latest solo project, ‘Kwon Ji Yong’ being his most popular release. One of the panelists mentioned, “With the hallyu wave heading over to North Korea many young people are singing along to the latest K-pop songs.” Another panelist noted that “They praise and rave over these idol stars…they’ve all watched Korean dramas.” See? Guess we’re not that different after all.
Despite it being considered borderline mainstream, bringing in the goods is no walk in the park. People put their lives at risk to obtain a ‘stealth USB,’ loaded with K-Pop and K-Drama goodness that can only be accessed by decryption. Even a tweet about EXO could cost you 10 years of hard labor.