May 11th, 2012 by Paul Curran
The public radio program The World on Boston’s WGBH (Charged!) had this very interesting report the other day about Ri Seong-Woong, “North Korea’s most famous punk rock star.” While Ri Seong-Woong, and any form of punk rock in North Korea, does not actually exist, the extent to which the purveyors of this “hoax” went is impressive, as is the music itself.
But could there be some inkling of truth, or potential truth, to the idea of punk in North Korea? Luk Haas, our intrepid explorer of the world’s most hidden corners of punk and rock ‘n’ roll writes, “It is true that in North Korea, in the springtime, on days off young people gather in parks with alcohol and acoustic guitars for picnics. They love singing together, all the North Korean patriotic propaganda hits, and some are quite tuneful, like ‘We Will Meet Again'(about reunification of Korea). But nobody would dare singing anything remotely punk or even rock.”
Still, we have Ri Seong-Woong, as interpreted here by South Korea’s 악어들 (The Alligators)…