In North Korea, culture, including music, is controlled by a government which encourages light, state-sponsored music, or music with patriotic worker-driven themes (praising leader Kim Jong Il, his late father Kim Il-Sung and their communist policies) played on radios, the Pyongyang Metro speaker system or in public by large worker’s orchestras. Listening to South Korean music or playing Rock and Roll “can be considered a crime”. Foreign music is lumped into one genre which the North Korean government calls “jazz” (note: this is a definition of the word peculiar to North Korea), and which is considered barbaric because “it has no melody”.
North Korean pop music is light and optimistic, usually performed by a young female singer in front of a large band. All music is in praise of Kim Jong Il, or otherwise the ideals of Communism, and songs have titles like “Our Life Is Precisely a Song”, “We Shall Hold Bayonets More Firmly” and “The Joy of Bumper Harvest Overflows Amidst the Song of Mechanisation”.