North Korea warns young people to shun slang, style from South Korea

'Frankly, outside information is an existential threat to the survival of the regime,' one expert said.

7/25/2021 7:30:00 AM

Young North Koreans have been told to avoid using 'dangerous' slang as part of a ramped-up campaign to block cultural influences from South Korea.

'Frankly, outside information is an existential threat to the survival of the regime,' one expert said.

as North Korea grapples with food shortages and an economic crisis sparked by a fall in trade with China during the Covid-19 pandemic and worsened by international sanctions, Maxwell said Kim has become increasingly focused on stamping out that threat.

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Soo Kim, formerly a CIA analyst focusing on North Korea and currently an analyst at the RAND Corporation, a nonpartisan think tank headquartered in Santa Monica, California, agreed."For the North Koreans, while they're suffering right now, to see that beyond [the southern border] there's wealth, there's food and there's freedom is just not going to bode well in terms of Kim's grip on power," she said.

Despite the Kim regime's longstanding efforts to keep South Korea's influence out of the North, however, pop culture from the south continues to reach residents across the border.A woman and child walk before a fountain in a park next to the Grand People's Study House in Pyongyang, North Korea, on April 5. headtopics.com

Kim Won Jin / AFP via Getty ImagesIn asurvey conducted among 116 North Korean defectors in 2020, Seoul National University found that nearly 48 percent of defectors had been regular consumers of South Korean TV and films, as well as of the country's music, before they fled the North.

Meanwhile, just 8.6 percent of participants said they had never enjoyed South Korean pop culture before defecting from North Korea.Both Maxwell and Kim said that trend is unlikely to stop, even in the midst of North Korea's heightened clampdown.Noting it has become"much easier now than before for North Koreans to obtain outside information," Kim said,"We're not just relying on DVDs anymore, but a lot of these [nongovernmental organizations] are now using small USB drives that are much easier to transport than back in the olden days of video cassettes."

Ultimately, North Koreans will continue to take risks to try and absorb culture from beyond their borders, Kim said."The people are hungry for information, and they know the risks and they accept the risks because they would rather have the information," she said."They desire change and they desire freedom."

Read more: NBC News »

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NK is an example of one leader controlling the populace. How? How do they control people? How do they keep their people from learning new information? It’s not simply by saying no. It’s probably more sinister. Government censorship is for our safety 🤡 Nope pass. That's a good rise to democracy Kim Jong Un should invite me to have a discussion with him on economics.

I see they all have the one of 4 or 5 haircuts allowed. How sad.

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