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.
[...] 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.
Chairman Kim has been making headlines recently.
North Korea' Foreign Ministry: "Israel's slaughter of children is a serious challenge to the future of mankind. State terrorism and genocide must not be tolerated." pic.twitter.com/ePrknuEtC7
China’s censors have a new target in a widespread clamp-down on popular culture: the country’s nascent hip-hop scene, which resonated with Chinese youth last year on hugely popular television show “Rap of China.”
[...] The official Xinhua news agency wrote that [rapper] PG One "does not deserve the stage," and that "we should say 'no' to whoever provides a platform for low-taste content." Other official media and companies quickly followed suit; the rapper's tracks were soon pulled from most online sites.
GAI, who had been in third place on The Singer, broadcast by Hunan TV, was cut from the program last week with no reason given. Rapper Vava was hastily edited out of the same station's flagship variety show "Happy Camp" because of her association with hip-hop culture.
"Hip-hop's prospects in China seem dim after Chinese rappers removed from TV shows," read one headline from influential state-run tabloid Global Times on Sunday.
The same paper this month said hip-hop - which it called a "tool for people to vent their anger, misery, complaints" - did not suit China and "cannot thrive" here.
[...] Chinese news portal Sina reported on Friday that China’s broadcasting watchdog had said immoral and vulgar content should be kept off the air, including hip-hop - and even tattoos.
Having a hostile media which pushes degenerate filth on the public 24/7 is not a requirement.