Youngster Executed For Listening K-POP Song In North Korea

Kim Jong Un
Kim Jong Un

In 2022, North Korea executed a 22-year-old man for enjoying and sharing South Korean K-pop music and movies. The news has caused a stir across the world. This action was part of North Korea's strict control over media and entertainment to shield its citizens from what it sees as harmful Western influences.

Under the regime of Kim Jong-un, North Korea has intensified these restrictions, including bans on capitalist fashion and hairstyles perceived as foreign. These measures aim to maintain loyalty to the ruling Kim dynasty and suppress any dissenting ideologies.

According to a report from South Korea’s unification ministry, testimonies from 649 North Korean defectors revealed that a 22-year-old man from South Hwanghae province was executed in 2022 for participating in South Korean cultural content. 

The defector's testimony states that the young man was found guilty and executed for hearing 70 South Korean songs, watching three South Korean films, and distributing them. He was put to death under North Korea's Law on the Elimination of Reactionary Thought and Culture, enacted in 2020. 

This law imposes severe penalties, including the death penalty, for engaging with foreign culture, in an attempt to restrict outside influences and maintain the regime's control over cultural expression.

North Korea strongly opposes foreign cultural influences, including those from South Korea and the West. This campaign against foreign cultural influences was initiated by former leader Kim Jong-il and continues under his son, Kim Jong-un.

The crackdown on K-pop and other foreign cultural elements is considered a part of a wider effort by the North Korean regime to shield its citizens from what it labels as "harmful" influences. These restrictions encompass various aspects of daily life, including measures against practices such as brides wearing white dresses, grooms carrying brides, wearing sunglasses, and drinking from wine glasses. Previously, North Korea has dismissed such reports as "falsehoods and slander," but has not yet responded to the latest claims.