When we talk about K-Pop, we’re talking about a cultural export that comes from South Korea, exclusively, where the music phenomenon was born. Of course, it has and continues to spread from there, with fan bases of K-Pop boy bands like G-Dragon, Big Bang, and BTS (to name a few) growing and popping up all over the world. K-Pop is so irresistible, it seems that not even South Korea’s icy neighbor to the north, North Korea, can help but get on the bandwagon, too.
A panel on Korean news outlet Channel A, as reported by music blog AllKPop, reveals that North Koreans are just as obsessed with K-Pop as the rest of the world. When the host asked if G-Dragon has caught on with North Korean teens, two of the panelists responded saying yes; another added that Psy’s “Gangnam Style” was obviously huge there too. (You can watch the panel below, but it is in Korean.)
But how do North Koreans get their hands on these songs, when their internet access is heavily restricted? Simple: encrypted USB drives. According to AllKPop, they work just like any other USB drive, but must be decrypted before the user can access its content.
If using Limewire in the early ‘00s taught me anything, it’s that devout music fans (especially teenagers) will always find a way to get the music they want. Even if they live under a one-party state. Kudos, North Korean K-Pop lovers!