North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has recently called K-pop, a genre of music popular in South Korea, as a "vicious cancer" that merits execution.
The 37-year-old North Korean leader has recently waged an anti-Kpop campaign in his country, imposing harsh penalties on citizens caught listening to "perverse" music from South Korea, according to internal documents smuggled out of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Daily NK. The New York Times first reported the leak Friday and was later made publicly available by legislators in South Korea.
According to the North Korean state media, the "attire, hairstyles, speeches and behaviors" of Korean pop idols could make DPRK "crumble" if left unchecked. The North Korean government has since rallied against the "anti-socialist" influences they claimed were spreading through South Korea movies, Korean dramas and Korean music videos.
To counter the spread of South Korean media materials, Kim introduced a new set of laws in December. Under the legislation, anyone caught watching or possessing content from South Korea could receive up to 15 years of hard labor.
Until December, North Koreans would receive five years of punishment for being fans of popular South Korean acts, including BTS.
Earlier this year, Kim asked his execution squad to shoot and kill Lee, a chief engineer at the Wonsan Farming Management Commission, after he was caught secretly selling devices loaded with South Korean material.
Lee was executed by firing on April 25, forty days after his arrest. Authorities fired twelve shots before Lee's body was rolled into a straw sack and loaded into a box. Lee's immediate family members were forced to stand in the front row during the execution, according to Daily NK.
"The family's neighbors burst into tears when they saw the four security guards picking up Lee's collapsed wife and throwing her [into the cargo van] like a piece of luggage, but they had to clamp their mouths shut and weep in silence for fear of being caught in the criminal act of having compassion for a reactionary," the source added.
South Korean Propaganda
Propaganda launched by North Korea describes South Korea as a land crawling with beggars. However, DPRK millennials, through smuggled K-dramas, learned that people in South Korea took diets to lose weight while they suffer through famine.
Korean slang and accents have also begun infiltrating everyday conversations in North Korea. Women have begun calling their boyfriends and partners "oppa" - a term for "honey" often used in South Korean dramas, instead of "comrade," which is mandated by the state.
This is not the first time Kim has imposed new rules to crack down on tendencies his state considers "anti-socialist."
In April, Kim outlawed mullets and skinny jeans in an effort to cut off Western-style fashion trends, according to Fox News.
The state government has also blocked all access to the global internet. Radios and televisions are also preset to only receive broadcasts from the North Korean regime. Disciplinary squads also stop men with long hair or women wearing short skirts or tight trousers.