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TikTok Video Praising Kim Jong Un Blocked: Sparks National Security Concerns in South Korea

Daniel Kim Views  

The Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) has blocked the TikTok video Affectionate Father, a praise song for Kim Jong Un. However, one committee member who opposed the decision pointed out that the video had garnered little attention in South Korea since the National Intelligence Service (NIS) raised the issue. He stated, “Is this video a serious subversive material when the prohibition acts like viral marketing to make this widely known?”

On the 20th, the KCSC held a subcommittee meeting and blocked access to 29 TikTok videos with four correction requests and one not applicable. According to the secretariat, the NIS requested a review, arguing that the main content of the video is unilaterally idolizing, beautifying, and praising Kim Jong Un, which is “typical information violating the National Security Law related to psychological warfare against the South.”

Four committee members agreed to block access, but Yoon Sung Ok opposed the recommended member and argued that the video did not violate the National Security Law. Yoon stated that most of the videos are 27 seconds long, and it’s hard to see how the repeated two or three lines of the refrain jeopardize the existence of the Republic of Korea and the fundamental democratic order.

The news that the NIS requested to block Affectionate Father was spread via media reports on the 11th. The reports included more lyrics from the song than the TikTok video. These included lines such as, “He holds ten million children in his arms and takes care of them with all his heart,” “His favor is as vast as the sea, and his faith is unwavering,” and “He is always with us, making all our wishes come true.”

The request to block Affectionate Father by the NIS was recognized through the media on the 11th—screenshot from Naver.

Yoon Sung Ok argued, “These are contents already introduced by domestic media such as KBS, SBS, or currently being introduced on the internet. If we prevent access due to violating the National Security Law today, wouldn’t many media outlets have already violated the law?” In addition to media reports, tens of thousands of videos can be found on YouTube by searching Affectionate Father.

Yoon further criticized, “Looking at the TikTok videos on the agenda, most of them have no comments, and if there are, they are mostly from foreigners,” and “Before the NIS raised the issue, there was no interest or influence in South Korea. The request for blocking by the NIS was widely known, and most media outlets picked it up, making Affectionate Father widely known as word-of-mouth marketing. If the NIS truly believes this song violates the National Security Law and is subversive material, this shouldn’t be the case.”

On the other hand, committee members suggested by the ruling party argued that it is right for the KCSC to block the video if requested by the national intelligence agency. Committee member Kim Woo Seok said, “Who is Kim Jong Un? Isn’t he a dictator who openly threatens us with nuclear weapons and talks about a sea of fire?” and “Should we ignore posts that praise such a person? This is a basic question.”

Kim continued, “I hope we don’t appear to be hindering the NIS by pointing out issues or excluding Kim from the NIS,” and “We should remove it when we see it; if we leave it, it becomes a big disease. Even just saying that we are vigilant and not overlooking such trivial things can greatly help our national security.” Committee member Heo Yeon Hoe also said, “I think we should immediately block it if there is a request from the national intelligence agency. What need is there for a long speech?”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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