New Emissary

K-Pop Propaganda

South Korea may use their girl pop groups as a form of ‘warfare’ against the North.

Revealing clothing, blaring music and smashed speakers are likely the last things that come to mind when thinking North-South Korea diplomacy. But they are, in fact, quite relevant, especially in light of recently soured relations between the two Asian neighbours.

It started recently when South Korea ended its six-year suspension of state-endorsed propaganda and soon after via radio aired a message to the North from President Lee Myung-bak, that was preceded by none other than a tune by popular girl pop group 4minute called, HuH (Hit Your Heart). The spunky song includes such lyrics as (translated to English from Korean):

‘Don't order me to do this and that again…
Don't try to change me…
I do what I want and I do it my way…’

South Korea is, as reported last week by one of its major newspapers, also planning to broadcast more K-pop music and music videos, including those by girl bands such as Girls' Generation, Wonder Girls, After School, Kara and 4minute—to further aid its propaganda campaign against the DPRK. The Chosun Ilbo also suggested that one way in which they may hope to weaken North Korea is through ‘the revealing outfits worn by the performers and their provocative dances (which) could have a considerable impact on North Korean soldiers.’

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Currently, in efforts to fully re-implement such methods of ‘psychological warfare,’ the South is also reportedly ‘constructing a dozen sets of huge speakers to blare propaganda into the North.’

However, according to an AFP piece today, North Korea has stated it will attack any speakers set up by South Korea for purposes of propaganda. Will a speaker-smashing cross-border conflict really result between the two?