May 20, 2024

‘It slaps’: How a propaganda song praising Kim Jong Un went viral on TikTok

Videos featuring ‘Friendly Father’ have flooded popular app, even as US pushes to ban it over fears of misinformation

When North Korea released a new tune praising leader Kim Jong Un last month, the regime presumably hoped that the music video of soldiers, workers and students buoyantly dancing and giving thumbs up would inspire devotion to the man held up as the father of the nation. The song, titled “Friendly Parent” (or “Friendly Father”), is “resounding endlessly in all parts of the country” as North Koreans sing it in their workplaces and homes, state media reported.

What the DPRK likely didn’t expect was that the propaganda ditty celebrating a “bright future” under the third hereditary Kim ruler would find an audience of millions around the world, and even in the “imperialist” U.S., on a platform that North Koreans cannot even access — TikTok.

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