[12 Aug 2012][News] Girls’ Generation’s influence reaches North Korean teens

With K-Pop beginning to spread into the international market, its influence seems to also be taking hold in its neighboring country, North Korea!

Recent reports ran by the Free North Korean Radio revealed that Girls’ Generation is one of the most popular acts amongst North Korean teens. On August 10th, the radio compared the North Korean version of Girls’ Generation called the Moranbong Band and commented that they still had a long way to go in terms of coming close to the popularity that Girls’ Generation has achieved.

The band actually underwent an extensive transformation under the direction of Kim Jung Eun and put on a groundbreaking show that involved mini-skirts and shirts that bare their shoulders.

In an interview, a Pyongyang source stated, ‘Many of the students from Kim Il Sung University and the Kim Hyung Jik College of Education know all of the member names of Girls’ Generation. Some of the students actually use the members’ names in place of their own names.

They continued, ‘In Pyongyang, teens can be found carrying around USBs with Korean idol songs and music videos. During birthdays or big gatherings, it’s popular to put it up on a computer and follow along. Because of that, USBs have become a hot selling item.’

On July 27th, the Moranbong Band’s performance was aired on TV in an attempt to steer attention back to North Korean music, but this only fueled interest in K-Pop idols among the North Korean youth. Government agencies are ignoring this aspect of youth culture.

The source added, ‘A 4GB memory card full of Girls’ Generation performances are sold for $18, while an 8GB can go for $20~22. They are being ordered by the bulk.’

To keep in tune with the trends, stores in popular malls have begun to stock up on these USBs. ‘Just up until two years ago, songs by Na Hoon Ah, Tae Jin Ah, and Joo Hyun were the most popular, but recently, songs by Girls’ Generation, 2PM, and TVXQ are the trends. Although the songs are hard to sing along and they don’t know what the lyrics mean, the teens have fun copying the motions of it.’

Sr: Everyday Economy / Naver / @hansoshi

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