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MBC's 'High Kick!' series popular in NK

2011/05/12 Source

"High Kick!", a South Korean sitcom series, has hit North Korea by storm with explosive popularity among teenagers and young women in the hermit country.

Radio Free Asia (RFA), a U.S.-based nonprofit radio and Internet news service, reported Tuesday that MBC's hit sitcom series 'High Kick!' and 'High Kick Through The Roof' are gaining huge followings in North Korea.

"The South Korean TV program is making a lot of young North Koreans laugh these days. They are fascinated by the fun scripts of the series", the radio broadcaster said.

An unnamed source from Haesan, in the North's Yanggang Province said that the show first started to surface in black markets last November and that currently most high school students own several DVD copies of the hit sitcom.

"At first, it didn't look that fun because people were acting silly in the show. But the more I watch it, I feel like I'm getting addicted to it", said an anonymous watcher.

A single DVD contains about five episodes and usually costs around 4,000 won, a high price tag for average North Koreans who normally pay about 1,800 to 2,000 won for 1 kg of rice. However, the copied DVDs have been selling like hot cakes despite the hefty cost.

"The word 'High Kick' has come to mean comedy or theater plays in general. A lot of people have also started to use the word in place of 'variety' these days", added the source.

"If the series is this popular in Yanggang Province, you can pretty much assume the show has already spread all over the country".

북한 '하이킥' 시리즈 열풍, 도당간부까지 '중독'?

최근 북한 청소년들이 시트콤 '하이킥' 열풍에 휩싸인 것으로 알려져 화제다.

자유아시아방송(RFA)는 지난 10일 북한 청소년들이 최근 MBC 시트콤 '거침없이 하이킥'과 '지붕뚫고 하이킥'의 재미에 푹 빠져 있다고 보도했다. 지금은 웬만한 고교생이면 '하이킥' 시리즈 1~2장은 갖고 있을 정도로 인기가 많다는 것.

이 방송은 양강도 소식통을 인용해 "작년 11월쯤 양강도 지역에 시트콤 DVD가 처음 퍼진 뒤, 중학교 애들과 젊은 여자들은 '하이킥'의 재미에 완전히 사로잡혀 있다"고 전했다.

이 어 "처음에는 '어방새(좀 모자라는 사람)'들의 놀음 같아서 별로 재미를 못 느꼈는데 자꾸 보다나니 중독이 된 것 같다"며 "내게 알판(DVD) 하나만 있으면 다른 사람들과 계속 바꾸어 볼 수가 있기 때문에 계속해서 새로운 것을 볼 수 있다"고 전했다.

5편이 들어있는 '하이킥'시리즈 DVD는 1장 당 북한 돈 4,000원이다. 쌀 1Kg이 약 1800~2000원임을 감안할 때 상당히 비싼 가격임에도 불구하고 인기가 높다고 알려졌다.

'하 이킥'의 뜨거운 인기로 북한에서는 새로운 유행어도 생겼다고. 양강도 소식통은 "청소년들 사이에서는 '하이킥'이라는 단어가 '희곡(코미디)' '연극'이라는 말로 통하고, 그림을 그리는 사람들은 '하이킥'을 '변형' '왜곡'이란 의미로 사용한다"고 말했다.

또한 이 소식통은 "'하이킥'이라면 도당 간부들이나 보위부 사람들도 다 좋아할 것"이라며 "양강도에서 인기가 이 정도라면, 이미 북한 전역에 '하이킥'이 다 퍼졌다고 보면 된다"고 밝혔다.

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