Music in North Korea

North Korean music had been always influenced by Russia and China. While in Pyongyang, I often meet people who loved to sing old Russian songs that was almost forgotten in Russia at that time. One of the songs was presented at a mini-concert for the Russian Foreign Ministry delegation in April 2009 at the Pyongyang Institute of Foreign Languages. This song, for example, comes from Russian Gypsies' romance repertoire long time before it became popular in the West after Mary Hopkins introduced the English version called "Those were the days" in 1968.  

Most songs in North Korea are aimed at glorification of the country leadership.  

In the 90's pop music was allowed in DPRK, it was played by local "authorized" groups, and of course, al the songs were "ideologically correct" since they praised the leaders of the country and the Party. Young people of North Korea, having nothing else to listen, enjoyed this kind of music at mass dance parties in Pyongyang.  The song played in this video is called "Let's support out Mother-Party with our loyalty". 

In the late 80's of the last century, foreign diplomats and representatives were entertained with gala reception parties, arranged at the KWP compound. Western music hits, unavailable for ordinary Koreans, were performed there by Korean musicians. Video shooting was allowed at the parties. North Koreans being shown the videos later, did not even believe that the shooting had been made in their country, but not somewhere in South Korea. I recorded this video on VHS cassette more than 20 years ago, so the picture quality is quite poor.