SK Dramas Entertain Bored Pyongyang Housewives
- Number of fans rising amidst the current crackdown
- CDs being watched by officials' wives and female staff in the workplace
- Copies shared out amongst family and friends
- Nothing on NK TV apart from the old propaganda
Amidst the increasingly brutal atmosphere of the ongoing crackdown in the border areas and nationwide, one refuge from oppression is proving to be South Korean dramas.
Those taken with the productions are often the wives of officials who live relatively well in Pyongyang and women who work in business places involved in trading.
With not much to do and little to buy in the department stores, they have not much to do apart from meet to chat and so pass the time watching the dramas in groups.
"The higher up their husbands tend to be in North Korean officialdom the greater the fascination with South Korean dramas," said a Pyongyang source. "The CDs are exchanged between the wives and children of such families and watched together."
North Korean fans of South Korean dramas have little time for the fare on offer on their native televisions. It tends to be repeated propagandic eulogies to the Great or Dear leaders, while movies and continuing dramas are obviously unable to reflect the reality of the citizens' lives. Viewers are also turned off by the overdone old fashioned nature of the actors' performances.
"There's nothing for the workers of one industrial supplies store to do since supplies have dwindled apart from form part of the crowds thronging the streets in jubilation when Kim Jong-il takes part in any reception event for foreign visiting dignitaries," the source added.
With time on their hands, they meet up during supposed working hours with their colleagues and watch South Korean dramas. All In, Heaven's Stairway, Autumn Story, Promise, Daejanggum, The General's Son, and The Scent of a Man, are among the most popular.
"In the increasing dimness of the capital, the only thing that gets people excited are South Korean dramas," finished the source.