Arirang (song)

From Censorpedia

Artist: Korean Folk Song

Year: 2013

Date of Action: December 11, 2013

Region: Asia

Location: South Korea

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Music

Confronting Bodies: The Defense Ministry of South Korea

Description of Artwork: Famous Korean folk song


   청천하늘엔 잔별도 많고
   우리네 가슴엔 희망도 많다 
   저기 저 산이 백두산이라지
   동지 섣달에도 꽃만 핀다 

English Translation:

   Just as there are many stars in the clear sky,
   There are also many dreams in our heart
   There, over there that mountain is Baekdu Mountain,
   Where, even in the middle of winter days, flowers bloom.

The Incident: The South Korean Military banned the famous Korean folk song from its military base from being sung in their karaoke rooms because they thought the song would lower soldier morale as it was once sung by North Korean artists. The military also said the song was sad and too depressing. Versions sung by South Korean artists are not banned, however, such as versions sung by SG Wannabe. In the past, bans like this were questioned but upheld in the end. In a case where the Defense Ministry banned 23 book, the Constitutional Court of South Korea "said intent behind the ban is just and the scope of the ban appropriate as it '...seriously undermine the spiritual strength of the soldiers"(YonHap News).

Results of Incident: There have been no known movements to repeal the ban.