A Song Unsung: Music Censorship and Piracy in North Korea

What is often overlooked about censorship is the fact that acts of censorship, like those found in the cases on this blog, fall within a spectrum. In modern America most people who hear the word censorship probably associate it with a bleep on television or editing lyrics for the radio, but in a select number of places, censorship dictates entire countries, and is enough to warrant execution. North Korea is one of the few places in the world still under such oppression. The selection of approved media is so small that every song, news article, and radio broadcast can only be enjoyed legally if it is approved by the government. Those who are brave enough to access banned music are part of a revolution in Korea that is weakening the strength of government propaganda, sharing newfound awareness of the world outside North Korea, and inspiring large numbers of people to make their escape.

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Section One: Censorship: Background and Ideology

Section Two: North Korea’s Musical Environment

Section Three: Power through Piracy

Works Cited