Even N. Korean singers’ fashion being influenced by Korea

07-Feb-2019 Intellasia | Asahi | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Pyongyang doesn’t allow Instagram, but if it did it would likely be full of photos of a female North Korean art troupe, whose “risque” dresses are rocking the reclusive state.

Dresses its singers wore onstage in China closely resembled ones in a hit South Korean TV drama, currently a hot conversation topic among Pyongyang citizens, who are forbidden to watch the shows.

The fact that the singers, regarded as elites in North Korea, wore dresses very closely resembling those in the show is proof South Korean culture is penetrating North Korea so deeply that Pyongyang can’t control it, said Kim Hyeong-soo, a biotechnology expert, who escaped to South Korea from the North in 2009.

North Koreans noted the dresses look like the one worn by popular actress Yoon Eun-hye in “Ojosan wo Onegai” (My Fair Lady), which aired in South Korea in 2009, and has been secretly popular among North Koreans.

What’s generating all the attention are images of some singers wearing dresses that expose one shoulder, said Kim, who is now the executive director of the Northern Research Association in South Korea. He said his friends in North Korea talked about the South Korean show.

The troupe visited Beijing to celebrate the 70th anniversary of ties between China and North Korea from January 26 and 28 and performed at the National centre for the Performing Arts there.

On January 27, they performed the popular Korean folk song “Arirang” and other songs while Chinese President Xi Jinping and other authorities watched.

North Koreans face harsh punishment if they are caught watching South Korean TV shows. A recent propaganda document the Workers’ Party of Korea has used at lectures for the public included the words, “Our enemies are passionate for doing propaganda activities to penetrate their thoughts and cultures to our nation,” and “We have to tighten control of our nation.”

Despite the regime’s efforts however, North Korean citizens became obsessed with South Korean dramas smuggled into the country mainly through China on USB flash drives.

In North Korea today, there is no end to the number of people who discreetly adopt the clothing and hairstyles of those drama’s characters, Kim said.



Category: Korea

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