In a shocking press release today, Yang Hyun-suk, CEO of South Korean Record label YG Entertainment, announced the termination of Psy’s contract. Psy, the worldwide YouTube sensation known for his viral video “Gangnam Style”, who has been with the company since 2010 has been charged with spying for the North Korean government.
The news came as a surprise to most, but to some, the clues have been pointing to his guilt all along. “I approached Mr. Yang 4 months ago, as Psy was reaching the peak of his popularity, warning him of my suspicions about Psy,” reported a South Korean anti-espionage agent who wished to remain anonymous.
Psy’s overwhelming popularity and constant presence under the spotlight turns out to have provided sufficient cover for his more shady dealings with the North Korean government. There is evidence to suggest that Psy has been working with the North Koreans long before he became famous as a Korean pop star. He was recruited by the North Korean underground “foreign propaganda” department as a young boy and trained with the mission to sabotage South Korean societal order. Psy’s quick rise to global stardom gave him both influence over and access to international populations—something that the North Korean government cannot easily and openly obtain. Investigators have insinuated that he has been collaborating North Korean intelligence forces in plotting a major offense against South Korea; the details of this plot are currently withheld from public. Psy has been detained for questioning.
On the surface, Psy’s wildly popular hit seems to be no more than a catchy chorus accompanied by an eccentric horse dance. Audiences around the world were hypnotized by the dance, attracting attention from the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and Britney Spears. To those who understand the Korean language, however, the song offers a biting criticism of Korean culture. Gangnam is an upscale district of Seoul that has quickly established itself as the economic center of Korea. Its standard of living has commonly been compared to that of Beverly Hills. “Gangnam Style” satirizes the citizens of Gangnam; according to Psy, the “nouveaux-riches” are shallow and lack the class of the upper class. Even thought the intended “sabotage” to South Korean social order was not achieved, Psy’s new song allegedly contains explicitly hostile messages towards the South Korean government.