TikTok grooves to upbeat North Korean propaganda song praising Kim Jong-un

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un dropped his latest propaganda song a fortnight ago, and the synth-pop track is seemingly winning over TikTokkers, BBC News reported.

With its upbeat tempo and catchy melody, “Friendly Father” is reminiscent of an Abba track – but with a Soviet-sounding twist.

While experts say the song is a calculated attempt to feed state propaganda to the masses, TikTokkers are just enjoying the tune. Posts about the song have garnered millions of likes.

“On Spotify when,” one user wrote.

“This song is like the end of a movie where the whole town gathers together and sings in unity while spinning in a circle,” said another of the upbeat video.

The song has already become a new hit in North Korea and a meme in the West.

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But such catchy tunes are purposefully designed to be accessible and simple to sing, making them easy to repeat and ensuring their ideological messages can be spread to the masses.

“The idea is they want to motivate, to strive towards a common goal for the benefit of the nation. They don’t tend to produce songs like ballads,” Alexandra Leonzini, a University of Cambridge scholar who researches North Korean music, told BBC News.

“All artistic output in North Korea must serve the class education of citizens and more specifically educate them as to why they should feel a sense of gratitude, a sense of loyalty to the party,” she added.

It seems that the state’s latest song has a particular aim of boosting the profile of Kim Jong-un, presenting him as more of a “father figure” like his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, and his father, Kim Jong-il.


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It is an attempt to “elevate his status and stature” to their level, as he has previously had to rely on their reputations to “indicate his legitimacy to be the successor,” Peter Moody, a North Korea analyst at Sungkyunkwan University, told The Telegraph.

“The song has Abba written all over it. It’s upbeat, it could not be more catchy, and a rich set of orchestral-sounding sequences could not be more prominent,” Moody told BBC News.

It comes as Chinese-owned short-video platform TikTok faces a ban in the US over data security concerns.

A still from the latest North Korean propaganda video. Photo: X/nexta_tv

Last month, the US Senate passed a bill that could see TikTok banned in the US unless its parent company, ByteDance, divests itself of the business over the next nine months to a year.

Reuters reported in April that ByteDance would rather close down TikTok in the US than sell it if legal means to fight the proposed ban fail.

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