NewsNorth Korean man executed for listening to K-pop, report reveals

North Korean man executed for listening to K‑pop, report reveals

Residents of North Korea are prohibited from having contact with South Korean culture.
Residents of North Korea are prohibited from having contact with South Korean culture.
Images source: © East News | Ahn Young-joon

29 June 2024 13:41

North Korea executed a 22-year-old man for listening to K-pop and watching South Korean movies. This is just one of many revelations in the report on human rights violations in the country governed by Kim Jong-un. "The spread of ideology and culture" from a hostile nation is prohibited there.

Information about the public execution of the 22-year-old Korean man appeared in the 2024 report on North Korea concerning human rights violations. The South Korean Ministry of Unification published the report and includes testimonies from 649 escapees from North Korea.

One of the aspects highlighted in the report concerns the "import of culture" from South Korea. For this reason, a man from Hwanghae Province was reportedly executed in 2022. The 22-year-old had been exposed to South Korean films and music.

Listened to South Korean music. was killed

According to the testimony of one of the escapees included in the report, the young man had listened to 70 South Korean songs and watched three movies, spreading them. According to the local laws, "the spread of ideology and culture" from a hostile nation is prohibited.

The report describes in detail the extensive efforts by North Korean authorities to control the flow of information from the outside, especially among the youth.

North korea. ban on using "enemy" customs

Other mentioned cases include punishments for practices such as wearing white dresses by brides, wearing sunglasses, or drinking alcohol from wine glasses - these customs are perceived as South Korean.

Mobile phones are also monitored in the country to check for spellings perceived as South Korean.

The ban on listening to K-pop is part of a campaign aimed at protecting North Korean residents from the "harmful" influence of Western culture.

Experts say that allowing South Korean popular culture to penetrate North Korean society could threaten the ideology, which requires absolute loyalty to the authorities.

As "The Guardian" notes, many escapees from the country governed by Kim Jong-un talk about a natural aversion to the regime, which they must conceal.

"Of course we cannot say anything bad against Kim Jong-un publicly ... we do say those words," said one of the women who escaped from the country using a wooden boat in October last year.
- After watching Korean dramas, many young people wonder, 'Why do we have to live like this?' I thought I’d rather die than live in North Korea," - she added.
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