Jungran Park (University of Tartu, Estonia) “North Korean Residents’ Viewing of South Korean Video Productions: The Creation and Implications of “Subculture””


With the distribution and viewing of South Korean video productions spreading among the North Korean residents, the influences of the “Korean Wave” are starting to show in the changes to their lives and social aspects. There has been a need to conduct a comprehensive review regarding what kind of power the “Korean Wave” phenomenon is exercising beyond the division in the “divided Korean Peninsula” and whether it has faced some limitations or problems. Given the compound structure of the issues that have continued or been reproduced in the situations of the two divided Koreas, a cultural approach is significant in that it allows for the dismantling and understanding of the compositions of multi-layered awareness and action styles. This study set out to investigate what kind of “subculture” was created in the North Korean society as a result of its residents watching South Korean video productions, as well as what kind of opportunities and limitations it would present for the internal North Korean regime and the common social and cultural community between North and South Korea. Subculture is a local and differentiated structure that forms a subgroup in the cultural network. Thus it was discussed whether subculture would establish itself as culture to embrace North Korea through a network of distributing, viewing and sharing comments on South Korean video productions.