North Korea may be vowing to reduce South Korea to ashes in "three or four minutes," but that doesn't mean it can't pay homage to South Korea's most beloved export, i.e., global pop sensation PSY. In a sign that Gangnam Fever has crossed the 38th parallel, the North has posted a "Gangnam Style" parody video on the official government website Uriminzokkiri designed to mock South Korean presidential candidate Park Geun-hye. No really: Just like everyone else churning out elaborate spoofs of the infectious viral video, the stiff-lipped, draconian regime is getting in on the action. But like all Pyongyang-produced propaganda, it's bizarrely executed. CNN's K.J. Kwon and Jethro Mullen give a good summary of the video:
The North Korean video starts with a picture showing a person apparently in the midst of performing the world famous horse dance from "Gangnam Style." The face stuck on the dancing figure is that of Park Geun-hye, the candidate for the governing Saenuri Party in the upcoming South Korean presidential election.
The video goes on to mockingly evoke Park's support for the past actions of her father, Park Jung-hee, South Korea's former dictator whose legacy still divides the nation.
The video isn't embeddable (you can view it here) but we've posted screen shots of the first couple frames below. Notice that signature horse-dance positioning:
Props to Pyongyang for giving it a shot, but they've got a lot of work to do: This certainly wouldn't rank anywhere near Billboard's top ten list of "Gangnam Style" parodies. Take the music: What's with that 1960s big band instrumental soundtrack? It doesn't sound anything like K-pop. And most frames of the video are too dark to even make out the imagery.
Anyway, it's a little more au courant than Pyongyang's last attempt at cultural appropriation: Knock off Disney characters. Progress?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.