In North Korea, entertainment is produced exclusively by the state.It is created to stoke anti-American fervor, exalt the nation and deify the ruling Kim dynasty. Its opera singers and singing waitresses and acrobats move in exquisite socialist harmony, always projecting the power of synchronicity, never the individual performer.You could not imagine a world more ill-suited to produce starlets for South Korea’s media industry — the flashiest, glitziest entertainment complex in all of Asia. Yet that is exactly what’s happening.South Korean entertainment is awash in fads that come and go. Here’s one with staying power: celebrity defectors from North Korea. More: North Koreans prepping seafood for U.S. stores, restaurants More: North Korea ‘aggressively’ jamming new BBC radio service: report In recent years, North Koreans have populated a new wave of talk shows, reality TV programs and dramas — each of them promising viewers a thrilling glimpse of life north of the Demilitarized Zone. Often enlightening, sometimes tawdry (and occasionally both), these programs have proved highly popular.This is a media trend like none other. It wrings content from young women who’ve escaped the world’s most tyrannical regime. It sharply inverts the typical image of fly-nibbled refugees, replacing it with a new stereotype: celebrity defectors who are invariably young, female and… Read full this story
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