A North Korean news website claims that the K-Pop idol industry in South Korea was treating the idols as “slaves” and had been living a “miserable life”.
“Arirang-Meari”, North Korea’s propaganda website updated its “Arirang News” section with a report highlighting the headline: “South Korean youth singers owned by big companies forced to live miserably.”
The report, which claims to be citing South Korean news outlets, described K-pop artists in general as “youth singers,” and specifically mentioned BTS and BLACKPINK as examples.
The article added that most of the “youth singers” sign exclusive contracts with large companies at early ages and receive education to become pop stars.
The report also claimed that these companies strictly separate the singers from the outside world and subject idols through harsh training while allowing them to sleep only two or three hours a day.
“In addition to their harsh trainings, they suffer inhumane humiliations and treatments,” the report claimed.
“Young female singers are even forced to sexually please politicians and industrialists. Many youth singers suffer mental and physical pains and are in a living prison. Some of them even took their own lives, leaving suicide notes saying it was hard to go on like this.”
South Korean online news outlet NK Economy screen-grabbed an image of the report, wherein the North Korean site “magnified part of the existing problems in training and managing K-pop artists in South Korea to penalize the whole.”
“It appears such penalization derives from the state’s effort to prevent fanning of K-pop artists’ popularity throughout its own citizens,” the South Korean news outlet wrote.
BTS and BLACKPINK have garnered worldwide fame with the former having performed and been nominated at Grammy Awards earlier this month and made history for being the first K-pop act to receive such recognition.
On the other hand, the all-female KPop group had been accumulating record-breaking clicks and followers via YouTube and Spotify along with a huge number of social media followers.