North Korea is a dangerous place to like K-Pop, but that doesn’t stop fans from supporting their favorite groups!
According to defectors Kang Nara and Park Yoo Sung, there is a large number of BTS fans in North Korea. The two featured on the latest episode of AYO‘s “Comment Defenders” series to talk about Hallyu in North Korea.
To explain just how widespread BTS’s popularity is in North Korea, Park Yoo Sung gave the example of their recent GRAMMY Awards nomination. According to Park Yoo Sung, there are many rumors saying 500 votes were from North Korea alone—most likely from citizens with power.
When BTS won a GRAMMY Awards [nomination], people said there were 500 North Korean votes. Many North Koreans have cellphones now, and the higher-ups in the party or their children have access to the internet! I think those people voted.
— Park Yoo Sung
Contrary to what people from all over the world may think, there are BTS fans in North Korea even if it is banned to be one: “There are BTS fans in North Korea, and they directly participate like this too“.
Kang Nara deduced that it isn’t just locals in authority who voted for BTS but also foreigners.
There are many foreigners who live in North Korea. They can use the internet if they pay around $150. There’s a good chance that they voted, too.
— Kang Nara
Park Yoo Sung expressed admiration for the love ARMYs have for BTS. Even if they can get shot, they don’t mind risking their lives for the boys.
Then the real fan must be in North Korea. There, you risk your life by geeking out. You could get shot for real!
— Park Yoo Sung
They ended by perfectly describing the heart of a North Korean fan: “The love of ARMY transcends the border“.
If that isn’t true love for BTS, what is?
Watch the full video below to learn more about BTS’s popularity in North Korea.