Over the weekend, an article published by a North Korean propaganda website he accused K-pop record labels of participating in a “slave-like exploitation” of highly successful groups such as BTS and BLACKPINK.
The piece from North Korea’s Arirang Meari site claimed that K-pop artists were “forced into incredibly unfair contracts from an early age, detained in training and treated as slaves after being stolen from their bodies, minds. and soul for the heads of vicious and corrupt. art-related conglomerates “.
The piece was probably part of a push by North Korean propagandists to suppress foreign media. While Pyongyang’s strict censorship apparatus severely restricts movies, music, television, newspapers, and books that its citizens can consume, the technology has facilitated the smuggling of foreign content, especially in USB sticks.
Defectors say trapped North Koreans consuming foreign content, especially from South Korea and the United States, often face severe punishments. Historically, these laws have not deterred people from doing so, but the situation may change.
Although the Kim regime has long repressed people who watched or read foreign material, the North Korean legislature passed a new law in December that forced citizens and organizations to prevent the “spread of anti-socialist ideology.” “, in practice means any content that has not been approved by government censors.
Kim, in February, also suggested that more controls on social content could arrive. He called for a “more intensive fight than ever before against anti-socialist and non-socialist practices.”
Musical divergence on the Korean peninsula
Despite centuries of shared culture, music in communist North Korea and South Korean capitalism have evolved very differently since the peninsula split into two political entities after World War II.
Music in North Korea, meanwhile, is an important part of everyday life and serves as a key propaganda tool, hooking the ruling Kim family and their fight against imperial aggression.
North Korea’s monopoly on creative expression makes the state’s songs – and therefore its approved messages – ubiquitous.
CNN’s Oscar Holland contributed to this report.