Anyone wanting to get a sense of North Korea's shaky insularity probably could do worse than considering the case of Kim Cheol-woong, a competent pianist who was turned in for playing an elevator-music tune -- A Comme Amour -- in his own home.
... Only in North Korea could playing it in one's own home be dangerous. Someone passing by overheard the French music and filed a report to the state security department.One thing led to the next and he fled North Korea and now lives in the south... and all because of a piece of music that may appeal to some, but strikes me as hardly worth criticizing. North Korea can't feed its people, flouts its nuclear weapons and, like a cherry on top of some grotesque sundae, declares mediocre music politically apostate.
If this were fiction, no one would believe it. Listen to the tune: I can't imagine willingly staying in an elevator to listen to it.
It reminds me a little of the ethereal lengths to which the West is increasingly inclined when it comes to potential 'terrorist' activities. We haven't gotten around to music just yet, but with leadership like North Korea's, there is hope for us yet.