How K-Pop Persuades Young N.Koreans to Flee

      August 23, 2019 13:56

      K-pop's influence is reaching young people in North Korea. The Washington Post in an article headlined "How K-pop is luring young North Koreans to cross the line" on Tuesday included interviews of young defectors who were partly persuaded by the sugary pop music of the South.

      One 27-year-old woman who gave her name as Ryu Hee-jin and left North Korea in 2015 used to listen secretly to the music of Girls' Generation, Tiara and TVXQ. Ryu said after she listened to K-pop, she realized that her life in North Korea was not a paradise but a sham.

      "When you listen to North Korean music, you have no emotions," the daily quoted her as saying. "But when you listen to American or South Korean music, it literally gives you the chills. The lyrics are so fresh, so relatable. When kids listen to this music, their facial expressions just change."

      Kang Na-ra (22) who majored in singing at a high school in North Korea, said she wanted to express herself freely, wearing miniskirts and jeans with her hair dyed like people in K-pop videos. The paper likened the influence of K-pop on young North Koreans to that of Beatles in the Soviet bloc and David Bowie in East Germany.

      A survey by Unification Media Group, a shortwave broadcaster in Seoul, of 200 North Koreans defectors showed that over 90 percent of them had been exposed to foreign movies, TV programs and music in North Korea.

      UGM commented that widespread use of mobile phones in the North and lively exchanges in the black market near the Chinese border all contribute to spread of K-pop in North Korea.

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