Friendly Father’ Viral Hit: North Korea’s Propaganda Song on TikTok

Friendly Father' Viral Hit: North Korea's Propaganda Song on TikTok

A North Korean propaganda song titled ‘Friendly Father’ praising dictator Kim Jong Un has taken TikTok by storm, attracting millions of views from Gen Z users. The catchy tune describes Kim as ‘warm-hearted like your mother’ and ‘benevolent like your father,’ portraying him as a kind leader.

The music video accompanying the song shows Kim Jong Un engaging in affectionate moments, hugging children and interacting with citizens, aiming to paint him as a benevolent figure. Despite the upbeat melody, many listeners are unaware of the lyrics’ adoration for a leader who has made threatening remarks towards countries like the United States and South Korea.

The unexpected popularity of the song, likened to ABBA’s style, has surprised online users, with some humorously suggesting it deserves a Grammy. This propaganda piece is part of a long-standing tradition in North Korea, where catchy tunes are used to influence and unify the population, rather than evoke genuine emotions.

Experts caution that the use of terms like ‘father’ and ‘the Great’ to describe Kim Jong Un could signal a shift in the country’s leadership narrative. Previously reserved for Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Un’s grandfather and the nation’s first leader, these titles may indicate his attempt to solidify his position as the ‘Supreme Leader.’

Analysts note that songs, like ‘Friendly Father,’ play a significant role in conveying the regime’s messaging to the public, acting as a reflection of the country’s political landscape. According to scholars, these propaganda songs serve as a tool to guide the populace towards a common goal for the nation’s benefit, rather than focusing on individual emotions.

In North Korea, where media is tightly controlled, songs like ‘Friendly Father’ act as a medium to communicate the government’s intentions, providing insight into the nation’s current political direction. Alexandra Leonzini, a scholar specializing in North Korean music, highlighted that these songs serve as a form of public communication, guiding citizens on the state’s key priorities and developments. In this context, songs function as a significant aspect of North Korea’s societal communication, akin to newspapers in other parts of the world.

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