Over recent decades South Korea’s vibrant and distinctive populist culture has spread extensively throughout the world. This book explores how this "Korean wave" has also made an impact in North Korea. The book reveals that although South Korean media have to be consumed underground and unofficially in North Korea, they are widely watched and listened to. The book examines the ways in which this is leading to popular yearning in North Korea for migration, defecting to the South or for people to just become more like South Koreans. Overall, the book demonstrates that the soft power of the Korean wave is having an undermining impact on the hard, constraining cultural climate of North Korea.

chapter |38 pages


Hallyu and North Korea: soft power of popular culture
ByYouna Kim

part I|42 pages

Popular culture as soft power

chapter 1|13 pages

Soft power and the Korean Wave

ByJoseph Nye, Youna Kim

chapter 2|13 pages

The Korean Wave as a powerful agent

Hidden stories from a North Korean defector
ByThae Yong-Ho

chapter 3|14 pages

Popular culture in transitional societies

An Eastern European perspective
ByNikolay Anguelov

part II|51 pages

Circulation of meaning

chapter 4|13 pages

Black markets, red states

Media piracy in China and the Korean Wave in North Korea
ByWeiqi Zhang, Micky Lee

chapter 5|13 pages

The Korean Wave

A pull factor for North Korean migration
ByAhlam Lee

chapter 6|11 pages

Hallyu in the South, hunger in the North

Alternative imaginings of what life could be
BySandra Fahy

chapter 7|12 pages

South Korean media reception and youth culture in North Korea

BySunny Yoon

part III|56 pages

Contesting voices

chapter 8|14 pages

Other as brother or lover

North Koreans in South Korean visual media
ByElaine H. Kim, Hannah Michell

chapter 10|14 pages

Webtoon and intimacy

Reception of North Korean defectors’ survival narratives
ByJahyon Park

chapter 11|13 pages

Revealing voices?

North Korean males and the South Korean mediascape
ByStephen J. Epstein, Christopher K. Green