November 29, 2023

What N. Koreans think of S. Korean entertainment

Northerners impressed by S. Korean prosperity; appalled by violence, sex and greed

The last two decades have been a time in which South Korean movies and TV shows have spread across North Korea. Technically, South Korean videos have always been illegal in the realm of the Kim dynasty, but until quite recently the North Korean government seemingly did not care too much about enforcing bans on South Korean shows. Things may have changed recently: Since early 2014 the North Korean police have started to show more consistency and brutality in dealing with the influx of South Korean videos. However, this is a relatively new development and its longer-term implications remain to be seen.

For the last 20 years, though, a significant number (perhaps, even a majority) of North Koreans have been exposed to South Korean TV shows and films. What have they learned from such things? Alas, this question is not so simple as it might appear.