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This catchy North Korean propaganda song is going viral on TikTok

(NewsNation) — North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un’s propaganda music has found a new audience on TikTok as young people around the world dance to the catchy number “Friendly Father.”

Communist countries have long used music as a tool to spread their propaganda, but under its current leadership, North Korea has taken this to the next level with Pyongyang adopting more electronic strings, rock riffs and girl groups that resemble the globally popular K-pop bands of South Korea.

This marks a significant transition away from traditional propaganda anthems as the country attempts to modernize its message for the next generation.

“There is a tendency to repost and participate in viral behavior without truly realizing what you’re participating in,” noted Connor Blakley, founder of Youth Logic, a Gen Z-focused marketing agency. “Gen Z will do pretty much anything to feel important by getting more views.”

“Wait, this slaps”, “This song needs a Grammy”, “It’s so dystopian in the catchiest way” – are just some of the enthused comments under the TikTok videos featuring the song.

“Friendly Father” debuted in Pyongyang at an April ceremony marking the completion of a housing project. In a music video released by North Korean state media, a military official cries in Kim’s arms while pilots, construction workers and children sing along. “The people trust and follow with all our hearts, our friendly father,” the song says about Kim.

Part of why the song has caught the attention of global audiences is that it is incredibly catchy, using rich orchestral-sounding sequences and a lead female vocalist with an energetic beat that evokes ABBA, according to Peter Moody, a North Korea expert at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul.

“The only difference is the content of the song,” Moody said. “It is almost as if North Korea is appropriating the pop culture of the outside world for its own purposes.”