About

This blog is managed by Tongil Tours. Tongil Tours is an Australia-based youth travel organisation specialising in tours to the Demoratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK; North Korea). We are the world’s only North Korea travel service staffed entirely by Korean-speaking academic specialists. As such, our tours not only give our participants an unforgettable adventure in North Korea but also leave them with a more nuanced understanding of the country. We all share a deep interest in the culture of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK; North Korea). This blog is intended for people who share that interest, especially in regards to North Korea’s popular music (hereafter, ‘NKpop’).

This blog is ideologically neutral, and refrains from making value judgements on its subject matter. This blog should not be interpreted as a form of support for the North Korean government and its policies. Its goal is merely to present NKpop as it is. We warn viewers of this blog against trying to gain any deeper insight into the reality of life in North Korea based on what is presented here given the propagandistic nature of such cultural products. Rather, viewers can gain an understanding of how the North Korean state presents itself to its people, how it would like to be perceived.

This blog was created to cater to the relative absence of accurate, idiomatic English translations of NKpop songs. Here we curate a diverse mix of NKpop songs, from the classics that every North Korean knows by heart, to more obscure pieces, from zealous paeans to the country’s leaders, to gentle folk songs. Each song is presented with its English (and Korean) subtitled music video, full Korean and annotated English lyrics, and a brief contextual explanation. Please have a pleasurely browse, and if you ever choose to travel to North Korea, do it with the only truly qualified tour organiser – Tongil Tours.

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