Korea: December 30, 2004


In North Korea, the government is trying to suppress growing enthusiasm for South Korean clothing, mannerisms, accents, and culture in general. Special police units are inspecting stores, especially the newly legalized flea markets, for South Korean clothing (often second hand) brought over from China. VCR tapes and CDs of South Korean television shows and movies are already illegal, but the trade in them continues despite the risk of death or imprisonment if caught. The South Korean influences began appearing ten years ago, and has not reached far more of the population than the North Koreans ever thought possible.

In 2004, some 1,900 North Koreans made it to South Korea. Many more (over ten times more) made it out of North Korea into China and Russia. One South Korean is known to have fled to North Korea.  


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