The influence that K-Pop has on the world is great and undeniable. So much that even North Koreans, who live under oppression and constant surveillance from the government simply can’t resist the beauty of it.
It seems that North Korea is currently having trouble keeping the music out of the public’s ears, despite the severe punishment that are imposed on civilians if they are caught consuming Western or K-Pop music.
In fact, there have even been a case where a North Korean man fled the country after seeing how beautiful the members of Girls’ Generation were. He stated that he wanted to see if all women in South Korea looked like the idol group. As hilarious as this story may be, the effect that K-Pop has in countering North Korean propaganda is incredible.
For those that may not be aware, the only music or “art” that is allowed in North Korea are only ones that are heavily fueled with propaganda praising Kim JongUn and his forefathers, generally speaking.
However, defector Ryu HeeJin told the story of how K-Pop helped her realize that she was being imprisoned as a slave and muster up the courage of fleeing the country, despite her life being at stake.
According to the Washington Post:
“Now, there is evidence that South Korean K-pop is playing a similar role in subtly undermining the propaganda of the North Korean regime, with rising numbers of defectors citing music as one factor in their disillusionment with their government, according to Lee Kwang-Baek, president of South Korea’s Unification Media Group (UMG).”
Ryu decided to run away from the oppressive hermit kingdom back in 2015, when she was twenty-three years old.
She is currently studying business in South Korea and continues to be a K-Pop fan.
Kang NaRa, who defected to South Korea back in 2014, wanted to express herself through K-Pop fashion.
She spoke of how she wanted to dye her hair in various different colors and wear the trendiest jeans. She recounted a story of how she once wore a pair of jeans while going out to the market when she was in North Korea, and was forced to take them off. The police burned her pair of jeans right in front of her.
She is currently an actress in South Korea.