Kim Jong Un is cracking down on DPRK-pop fans.
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.
In an apparent bid to launch his own brand of cancel culture, 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.
This past May, a citizen was killed via firing squad for hawking bootleg South Korean music and other entertainment.
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