North Korea Reportedly Orders New Crackdown on Banned Music

Kim Jong-Un
Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un salutes as he watches a military parade to mark 100 years since the birth of the country's founder and his grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, in Pyongyang on April 15, 2012.  

When North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un isn’t taking submarine rides or executing his own family members, he's banning music in the world’s most closed society. South Korea-based Daily NK is reporting that the “great successor” has ordered house-to-house searches to confiscate and destroy CDs and tapes deemed a threat to his four-year-old regime.

"If even one song from the banned list is discovered [in a collection], they incinerate the whole thing,” a source told the news outlet.

Newly banned songs include the soundtrack of a popular North Korean-produce film called Im Kkeok Jeong, about the leader of a 16th century peasant rebellion, as well as a track called “Nation of No Tears” from a well-known TV movie.

Laibach Lines-Up Concerts in North Korea

Censorship of music, films and television is nothing new in North Korea, but according to the report, the new list of banned songs has struck a chord with citizens.

“Recently, this has even led to fights between residents and the inminban [propaganda] heads,” a source said. “Some women have gotten so angry that they’ve stormed into the local propaganda offices complaining that they incinerated their goods without even telling them.”

The decree comes after Slovenian industrial band Laibach announced live dates in the capital city of Pyongyang. It will be a first for a western rock band. Laibach recently told The Guardian they plan on playing adapted songs from The Sound of Music as well as several Korean favorites.


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