KUALA LUMPUR, February 8 – A dance teacher in North Korea and several of her students were arrested recently after they were caught learning foreign dance steps.
The instructor, in her 30s, was arrested by the Hermit Kingdom’s anti-socialism inspection group while teaching disco dances to teenagers in Yangji-dong in the city of Pyongsong, Radio Libre Asia (FRG) reported.
North Korea had passed the draconian Elimination of Reactionary Thought and Culture Act in 2020, which punishes citizens for a wide variety of offenses, mostly related to viewing, storing or distributing media. from capitalist countries, especially South Korea and the United States.
The law provides for the death penalty for serious offenders.
The law has been used to punish drivers for tinting their car windows, students for using South Korean-style speech and slang, and now dance teachers for teaching young people to imitate movements of foreign pop stars.
Citing a local source, RFA reported that the Anti-Socialism Inspection Group cracked down hard on people who watch South Korean films and distribute foreign media.
The source added that locals dared to watch South Korean movies or listen to foreign songs thinking authorities would be more lenient in enforcing the rules during the Lunar New Year holiday.
This year, however, the Anti-Socialism Inspection Group has been more vigilant in enforcing the Thought and Culture Law.
“At the scene of the crackdown, a USB drive containing foreign songs and dance videos had been plugged in next to the flat-screen TV,” the source said.
“The teenagers learned to dance by imitating the choreography on the screen.
“The Anti-Socialism Inspection Group seized the USB flash drive and took the instructor and all the students to their headquarters.”
Another source said the instructor majored in choreography at Pyongsong University of the Arts. and was assigned to Okchon High School in Pyongsong to teach.
“But it was hard to live on her teacher’s monthly salary of only 3,000 won (RM10.48), so she decided to run a private dance academy from home,” the source said, adding that students attended his classes twice a week. .
“They preferred to learn to dance like they do in South Korea, China and America, rather than in the North Korean style. So she taught them how to do it,” the source added.