Breaking: North Korea Publicly Executed 22-Year-Old Boy For Watching K-Pop Music and Films


Breaking: North Korea Publicly Executed 22-Year-Old Boy For Watching K-Pop Music and Films

North Korea Executes Young Man for Consuming and Sharing K-Pop Media


In 2022, North Korea publicly executed a 22-year-old man from South Hwanghae province for listening to and distributing K-pop music and films, as reported by South Korea. The man was executed for having listened to 70 South Korean songs, watched three films, and shared them with others.

This information comes from testimonies published in the North Korean Human Rights report by South Korea’s unification ministry. The report, based on accounts from 649 North Korean defectors, underscores North Korea’s severe measures against the infiltration of Western culture and media.


In 2020, North Korea enacted a law banning “reactionary ideology and culture” to protect its citizens from the perceived negative influence of Western culture, particularly K-pop. Despite international criticism of these harsh penalties, North Korea dismisses such allegations as conspiracies aimed at undermining its leadership.


In addition to K-pop, other behaviors deemed “reactionary” and subject to punishment include South Korean cultural practices like brides wearing white dresses, grooms carrying their brides, and drinking alcohol from wine glasses. North Koreans also face routine mobile phone inspections for contact names, expressions, and slang terms.


Human Rights Watch, in its 2023 world report, stated that North Korea systematically denies basic freedoms, including freedom of expression, assembly, association, and religion, and prohibits independent media and civil society organizations.


One defector, a young woman in her early 20s, noted the rapid influence of South Korean culture on North Korea. She remarked that young people in North Korea greatly admire South Korean culture and often question their own circumstances after watching South Korean dramas.


While public criticism of Kim Jong-un remains dangerous, private dissent exists among close friends, family members, and lovers. Historically, North Korea conducted executions in villages and prison camps, but it has recently avoided such actions in densely populated areas and near borders due to the difficulty of monitoring these events and potential satellite surveillance.


In response to North Korea’s recent balloon launches carrying trash, South Korea has threatened to resume anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts, reminiscent of Cold War-era tactics. The Korean War technically continues to this day, as it ended with an armistice in 1953 rather than a peace treaty.


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