During the past three years South Korea has been trying to put an end to North Koreas propaganda attacks on South Korean media and culture. This has been done through the utilization of loud-speakers strategically places along the DMZ blaring music and news. The tool they used to shock North Koreans was the famous K-Pop or Korean Pop music that was famous in South Korea. This weapon was a captivating force that would drive the North Koreans to become more impartial with the outside world by opening the minds of North Koreans. This tool and method would start to make a difference and eventually lead to a political response that would shock the music industry.
In the last three years North Koreans have slowly developed a weak spot for K-pop music to the point where they would smuggle illicit content from the South Korean side. This resulted in the South Korean activists launching balloons and drones full of USB flash drives and other materials to educate the North Koreans on what the outside world is like. By the South Koreans slowly exposing what the Western world is really like, this allows the North Koreans to hopefully have a better understanding of the modern world and to realize that there is more to the world than to be sheltered in their country. But with this, many North Korean soldiers don’t have a choice for if they can or can’t hear the broadcast from the South.
It was reported that the loudspeakers could be heard up to 6 miles into North Korean territory meaning that most North Korean soldiers within the range are more or less forced to listen to K-pop music or what they chose to broadcast that day. Another incident occurred on December of 2017, when a North Korean soldier fled to the South to express how much love he felt towards the K-pop music genre. While he was recovering from a gunshot wound, that he obtained during the escape, he woke up from the hospital bed and immediately request to hear some K-pop music.
This situation shows that the South Koreans have been able to reach the hearts and minds of some of the North Korean people. It starts with one person to come forward and break the laws to make a difference in the society. By having this one soldier flee to the other side just because he was hearing K-pop music and other broadcasting news information and weather updates, this shows the dedication that this man had for wanting to live a more open-minded life and to experience an unsheltered environment to other North Koreans.
On March 31st of 2018, about 160 operatic artiste warriors united to surmount the ongoing proselytism in North Korea to perform numerous performances to hopefully open their mind about the outside world. In the course of this exchangeable cultural shock between the states, Kim Jong-Un himself went to the first concert that was held on April 1st and was witnessed by North Korean news agency’s that he was full of joy and entertainment by the performances. Kim Jong-Un even managed to adjust his schedule to meet one of the famous K-pop girl group called Red Velvet to meet some of the members.
On top of this, it was even reported that Kim Jong-Un himself told the performers from the Spring Comes concert that the two countries should come together to display the culture and art performances more often. K-pop was not only able to reach the mind and hearts of the North Korean people but was able to reach the heart of their leader, who felt a love for the music so much that he graciously invited different K-pop idols to his country to sing. About a month later, the Supreme Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-Un and the President of South Korea Moon Jae-In made the decision to de-escalate the tensions that the two states have been in for over 70 years. This represented the first successful and real political result since South Korea had started to play K-pop music from the loudspeakers in place.
I believe that with this solution of using K-pop music and artists as a propaganda tool is very effective. Since the 1950s North and South Korea have been in conflict with each other struggling to accept each other. But now, with the help of K-pop and K-pop music idols, the two neighboring countries may have finally found a common group where people from both countries can enjoy.
K-pop idols could even be considered the ambassadors of South Korea providing a different aspect and view to different people such has citizens from North Korea. K-pop music also sounds upbeat and the lyrics from the songs show the North Koreans of a unified and powerful South Korean nation. This with the recent success and relatively successful feedback from both the South and North Korea shows that K-pop could be a positive and effective tool for both propaganda for South Korea but also a way to strength bonds and relations between North Korea and South Korea.