Young North Koreans have been advised that they must maintain traditional lifestyles and speak the vernacular of the nation.
As Pyongyang seeks to eliminate cultural influences from South Korea, the isolated state’s official publication made the demand in an editorial.
Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship is particularly interested in millennial’s speech patterns, with some imitating their neighbours by addressing their husbands as ‘oppa,’ which means ‘elder brother.’
North Korea’s official language is superior, according to the Rodong Sinmun newspaper, and young people must speak it appropriately while also ensuring that their clothing, hairdo, music tastes and dance styles are acceptable.
As per the Yonhap news agency in South Korea, the report warned: ‘The ideological and cultural penetrated under the colourful signboard of the bourgeoisie is even more dangerous than the enemies who are taking guns.’
Late last year, tough new rules were enacted that allow parents to be punished if their children are found watching South Korean television or mimicking their speech patterns. Those found with South Korean media risk up to 15 years in a prison camp, and those caught with unregistered televisions, radios, laptops, or mobile phones face the same penalties.
If someone is convicted of importing prohibited material from South Korea, they may receive a life term, while those smuggling significant volumes of content created in the US or Japan could face the death penalty.
In January, Tae Yong-ho, the first defector from North Korea to become a South Korean lawmaker, told Reuters: ‘In the daytime, the population is shouting ‘Long live Kim Jong Un’ – but at night they all watch South Korean dramas and movies.’
Mr. Kim was reported to have compared K-pop to a ‘vicious cancer’ that might cause North Korea to ‘crumble like a damp wall.’