You have probably read of the North Koreans shamelessly ripping off a suite of Disney characters in one of their infamous stage shows.
Why all the pageantry? OK, it’s North Korea, silly question. But why now? Well, it may have something to do with the young leader Kim Jong-un being freed from Dad’s shackles and finally being able to get his leg over recently married (not to Fatty Kim, as the Chinese call him) new mother and former popstar, Hyon Son-wol.
But she’s an interesting one, is Madame Comrade Hyon. An accomplished musician in her own right, she has a string of hits as long as your bayonette, such as Footsteps of Soldiers, I Love Pyongyang, She Is A Discharged Soldier, and We Are The Troops Of The Party. Real toe-tapping stuff. However, her star rose highest when she embraced her fans in the countryside with the 2005 chart-topper Excellent Horse-Like Lady.
Something lost in translation, or a manifestation of the severe shortage of tractors?
Update: by popular demand, Youtube clips provided. No translations, sorry. And I am unable to verify whether the clips match the actual songs, not being versed in Korean.
Further update: call that pop music?? This is pop music. (And no I don’t expect you to sit through that atrocious K-Pop; just trying to make a point…) That being said, it is worth noting how freaking massive K-Pop is throughout Asia, a market of 2 billion+.
Comparing the vigour of South Korean K-pop with its nothern counterpart as churned out by the likes of Kim Jong-un’s latest squeeze reminds me of this well-known photo. God bless capitalism!