South Korea Bans Viral TikTok Song Praising Kim Jong-un

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South Korea has grabbed attention for its decision to prohibit a TikTok tune that glorifies North Korean leader Kim Jong un. The move was prompted by concerns that the song, portraying Kim as a ” father ” could be seen as North Korean propaganda and breach national security regulations.

The Song in Question; “Kind Father”
The track known as “Kind Father” went viral on TikTok in April. Its English translated lyrics feature phrases such as;
“Lets celebrate Kim Jong un, our leader;
Lets praise Kim Jong un, Our caring father;
We all have faith in him wholeheartedly Our caring father.”

Response from South Korea
The Communications Standards Commission of South Korea (KCSC) revealed on Monday its decision to block 29 versions of the “Kind Father” video on TikTok. This action came after a request from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) alleging that the song is a tool for warfare, by North Korea.

Breach of National Security Laws
The KCSC stressed that these videos violate the National Security Act.
This law restricts access to Korean government websites and media and punishes any actions or speech that support the leadership in Pyongyang. The commission labeled the video as content associated with North Koreas psychological warfare, designed to praise and glorify Kim Jong un.

Public Response
Interestingly many TikTok users from South Korea have voiced their opposition to the ban. They argue that the song is not meant to be taken and is enjoyed more as a humorous element. These users find the melody catchy and reminiscent of European pop music suggesting that it should remain accessible for its entertainment value.

Impact of Propaganda on Social Media
This incident underscores the debate between national security concerns and freedom of expression on social media platforms. While Korean authorities view the “Friendly Father” song as a dangerous propaganda tool many users perceive it simply as harmless amusement.

Historical Background; Propaganda Through Music
The use of music, for propaganda is not a phenomenon. Throughout history various governments have utilized music to propagate their beliefs. North Korea has a history of employing songs and other media to endorse its leadership and political structure. The “Friendly Father” song serves as another illustration of this strategy.
The implementation of the ban poses a challenge as the KCSC has not clarified how it will be enforced. Given the availability and quick sharing of content on platforms such as TikTok removing all instances of the video is expected to be quite difficult. This situation raises doubts about the effectiveness of bans in todays era.

The prohibition of the “Friendly Father” song highlights the line between upholding national security and permitting freedom of expression. Similar to other nations South Korea grapples with safeguarding its population from potentially harmful messages while also respecting their right to explore diverse content.

As social media platforms advance governments will adapt their approaches to content regulation accordingly. The recent incident involving the “Friendly Father” song likely represents one of numerous upcoming scenarios where authorities must navigate through intricate issues surrounding digital media, propaganda and free speech.

To summarize South Koreas choice to outlaw the TikTok song praising Kim Jong un emphasizes the ongoing struggle, between security priorities and individuals freedom to express themselves.
Although some may view the song as harmless it highlights how music and media can significantly impact storytelling and sway public perspectives.

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