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Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 03:00 AM

In the U.S., paparazzi are pretty much synonymous with invasion of privacy. But today we travel to a place where the prying press create something more like a prison break. 

K-pop is a global juggernaut - with billions in sales and millions of fans hanging on every note, watching K-pop idols synchronize and strut. And that fame rests on a fantasy, K-pop stars have to be chaste and pure, but also … available. Until recently, Korean music agencies and K-pop fans held their pop stars to a strict set of rules designed to keep that fantasy alive. That is, until Dispatch showed up.

Taking a cue from American and British paparazzi, a group of South Korean reporters started hiding in their cars and snapping photos of stars on their secret dates. The first-ever paparazzi photos turned the world of K-pop upside down and introduced sort of a puzzle … how much do you want to know about the people you idolize, and when is enough enough?

Produced by Matthew Kielty and Alexandra Young. Reported by Alexandra Young with Brenna Farrell.

Special Thanks to Dispatch, Haeryun Kang, Joseph Kim, Charlie Cho, Hyena, Crayon Pop, Jeremy Bloom, The Kirukkiruk Guesthouse, Choi Baekseol, Jiin Choi, David Bevan, and The One Shots. 

And if, like us, this story leaves you with an insatiable desire to listen to K-pop here is a starter list of our recommendations: 


Suk-Young Kim, Lee Myung-Gu, A.J. Park, Leslie Tumbaco and Sarah Wolfgang


More in:

Comments [73]

tom from Mexico

The structure of this was confusing.

Mar. 13 2018 02:18 AM
Steph from Toronto, Canada

As an avid listener of kpop (both on and off) this episode was a great overview of kpop. If this episode is ever rebroadcasted, would it be possible to update it. Jonghyun of Shinee, as mentioned in this episode has since passed away. It has been a devastating loss to the kpop industry and hopefully will allow for a more open conversation of mental health.

Dec. 24 2017 01:48 AM
Seiko from Norwalk, CT

I was surprise on Monday 10-30-2017 to hear RadioLab rerun this episode. I think they should do another episode on Kpop and Jpop. Diffrerence between both and the inner working.

Nov. 01 2017 12:34 PM
Seiko from Norwalk, CT

I was surprise on Monday 10-30-2017 to hear RadioLab rerun this episode. I think they should do another episode on Kpop and Jpop. Diffrerence between both and the inner working.

Nov. 01 2017 12:32 PM
Eddy from American in China

I listened to this episode when it came out and was looking it up to recommend when I saw the negative comments. I never though of Radiolab as a science podcast, so those criticisms are just odd. Also, don't be so provincial while snobby at the same time about an episode on Korean music- comparing how different societies deal with celebrity and pop culture is very relevant to our lives. I'm not Kpop fan, but it was a really interesting episode.

Oct. 24 2016 01:47 AM
Unsubscribed from Earth

From near greatness to K-poop. And the fall of the show is complete...with an emphatic thud. Utter indulgence of one of the hosts' side interests. Hope your happy with yourself Jad. Nobody cares that you really wanted so bad to have a music career. We get it...let it go. Or not...don't care. Unsubscribed. Encouraging others to do them same. Your own personal black ocean awaits all because you failed to understand the concept of jumping the shark

Jul. 01 2016 04:11 AM

Interesting segment but to suggest that politics is off limits because of fear stemming from SK's recent past as a military dictatorship is inaccurate. Koreans in general are more comfortable talking politics than Americans. However, as the country has acquired more wealth and independence the culture has become more materialistic and apolitical. As it is in the states, it isn't 'cool' to talk politics in SK these days and therefore, it is unlikely that journalists looking to make a quick buck will pursue political writing.

May. 12 2016 03:10 AM
Ryan K from USA

Interesting article, but one minor criticism.note: Not once is Shin Se Kyung or any of the actual people this article is about are mentioned in this page's text article? Somewhat annoying if you listened to the story on the radio and want to follow up on the story. That seems like a big oversight.

Keep up the good work.

Apr. 24 2016 05:20 PM
Victoria from Korea

I think a lot o people needs to get a life or concern themselves more with their lives instead of maintain delusions of love or whatever with a "music or movie/serie star".

These kind of people obsessing with them (what they eat, wear, talk, date etc) should go into psychological treatment, this is a sickness, nothing else.

The "fans" need to put into their heads that they do not own these artists, they do not have any right to bitch around because this or that artist is dating anyone, eating anything or talking anything that the "fans" (psychos really) do not approve.

They are professionals and have a life like anybody else and deserve privacy, consideration and respect like any other person.

Apr. 08 2016 10:55 AM

I'm not a fan of k-pop, but this was a really interesting story! I'm glad to hear of the support that Ailee or Haley got after her photos were leaked without her consent. And I'm also glad the reporter being interviewed didn't accept them. Good for them.

Apr. 06 2016 09:10 PM

So much idiocy. Fan groups with "black oceans" because someone didn't bow enough? We're praising the paparazzi because we somehow want to credit them with relaxed attitudes regarding KPOP stars? Also why no mention that the ex-boyfriend was Daniel Lee, owns the company that owns allkpop? He claims he wasn't the source of the leak and was only calling to pretend to offer to sale the photos to gauge interest, all that seems highly implausible to me.

I understand wanting to know more about people whose work they admire. Things like their background, family life, influences, creative process, all of those things. What I do not understand and will never understand is this desire to know where they ate lunch, who they screw and where they last took a shit, pardon my language. I find this kind of celebrity worship appalling and a trait that is very off putting.

Apr. 02 2016 03:12 AM
Laura Ma from New Jersey

I just loved this show - I am a devoted fan of k-drama and k-pop, and I guess by reading some of the other comments, maybe I am shallow, but I am fascinated with the whole system. I was so happy to go on Radiolab and find this show - I love radiolab and what it explores. And hearing some of my favorite music during the broadcast was amazing!

Apr. 01 2016 03:32 PM

+Lauren from Geneva, i totally agree.

Mar. 29 2016 09:49 PM
Aaron from California USA

Great episode!

Mar. 29 2016 04:41 PM
Lauren from Geneva

Great story. I'm surprised, however, that the story (especially during the segment with the UCSB academic's description of the otherworldliness of the stars' appearance) didn't mention at all the overwhelming prevalence of cosmetic surgery in K-pop stars (and by extension the Seoul community). It would have added some more gravity to understanding the way that the stars are socially and physically 'constructed'.

Mar. 29 2016 05:03 AM
keeper the sewer pipe thug

@Ro Chambeaux i don't get you "Dargo" either this isn't racist whats with you?, and to be honest with you your the one thats acting like a kid.

Mar. 28 2016 07:49 PM
Ro Chambeaux, LA

@ Dargo. Racist how? Because that's a pretty heavy accusation to make. It's safe to assume that the middle aged, American hosts are like 99.9% of their peers and have no idea what k-pop is. So calm down with that noise.

Mar. 18 2016 03:43 PM

I loved this episode and I thought it was extremely interesting, unusual, and fascinating.

Mar. 17 2016 03:34 PM

The hosts seemed to be very ignorant and a little racist in this podcast. I'll never look at radiolab the same. Plus they have this annoying radio intro they always play at the start of each episode, it's unnecessary, and that one host sounds like a kid.

Mar. 17 2016 12:55 AM

The radio hosts seemed to be super oblivious about other cultures, this was very surprising to hear.

Mar. 17 2016 12:27 AM
Len from Austin, Texas

Has Radiolab jumped the shark?

This episode was NOT up to the standard I would expect from this podcast.

I could not care less about the awful birth of paparazzi in South Korea and k-pop kid-music. I listened in disbeliefe as radiolab actually spent time and money, and posted this drivel.

Not just this episode...the quality of this podcast is declining, which is sad.

I loved it so dearly. :( it over?

Mar. 12 2016 02:36 AM

Interesting story, but failed to touch upon the darker side of k-pop where stars have committed suicide due to the overcontrol of their lives by management, being told even who to date in public as well as who to sleep with behind doors. there's a lot of corruption as well with law enforcement bribes paid by the labels.

also, korea's reaction to "scandals" WILL eventually evolve to the status of paparazzi in the US once a strong sexual revolution happens. the day people begin to embrace their sexualities without shame, date freely in front of their parents, etc., is also the day that will come with its negative effects (entitled people who will freely view and judge the next star's nude photos or sex tape, etc.).

Mar. 11 2016 02:20 AM
Collin from USA

Laughing_Beast from Czech Republic: You commented: "You also somehow missed that person behind Ailee's photos was HER ex-BOYFRIEND. Or that he admitted to offering photos to Dispatch."

They did state the ex-boyfriend fact at 31:07 into the podcast during their translation of the recorded phone call in which he offers the photos to Dispatch.

Mar. 11 2016 02:00 AM
John from Canada

This was really interesting. I taught for a while in the EPIK programme in South Korea, as I'm sure quite a few of your other listeners did. During the orientation we were given an introduction to Korean culture by a Korean academic who explained that Korea had a mono-culture. We had to expect that every single student might give the same answer to questions like, "what's your favourite food?" (It's kim chi by the way.) I was too old and too set in my ways to care much about K-Pop, even though I thought the band name G.O.D was one nobody would dare try on in the west. At some point Jad asks a rhetorical question about whether or maybe how much we are culturally different. It occurred to me that all the tactics used in the K-Pop scene, from the manufactured lives of the stars to the black light displays are really a way of reinforcing that mono-culture. of getting the fans in the stadium to respond in a particular way. I'm not talking about some 1984 Night Rally for Big Brother, more a Brave New World where pleasure is measured by the number or approve of something. K-Pop is actually a really creepy phenomenon.

Mar. 09 2016 02:43 PM
A fan from San Diego, CA

I don't normally listen to K-pop but I did a double take after listening to this episode. I was a fan of Ailee's work here in the states when she collaborated with Decipher, the emcee out of Philly back in the late 2000's before she made it big in Korea. Before this episode, I hadn't realized that she had gotten so famous overseas! Glad her career is doing well, she is a very talented woman.

Mar. 08 2016 11:29 PM
David Pirtle from DC

I'm not sure anyone should buy Mr. Lee's importing the worst (and most profitable) aspects of western media as some type of political subversion.

Mar. 07 2016 08:14 PM
frank from grand forks ND

are there any pictures showing the darkness of the show? or any pictures for this story?

Mar. 05 2016 08:41 PM
Christopher from Washington DC

Radiolab for me is not simply about learning something new, but learning something that forces me to revisit prior assumptions or my worldview. What make it so fun is when that impetus for change comes from someplace I least expect it, often hiding in the ordinary (colors!). While I am a science geek I still love the episodes on historical or sociological topics and this episode was no exception. This episode has already sparked several conversations with friends about American culture and the paradoxical ideal of the promiscuous virgin imposed on women, and how that compares to cultures worldwide. Thank you

Mar. 03 2016 11:05 AM
Heather from Denver

I love Radiolab and this episode was fun/interesting. I found it difficult to listen to though because it was so overproduced--there was so much background noise that I struggled to hear what people were saying. At times there was music AND someone else talking AND crowd noise while someone else was talking on top of it. Too much.
Keep it up Radiolab, just maybe tone it down a bit.

Mar. 02 2016 08:25 PM
Marisol from New Jersey

I find it almost negligible for Radiolab to do an episode about k-pop and korean citizens' reactions to different types of celebrity scandals and the idea of exposure, and put forth this image of certain things not being acceptable/untouchable when it comes to k-pop idols when there's a vocal subset of fans that actively stalk and harass k-pop stars. Of course saesang activity is an outlier but why not even discuss it? Because they're not Dispatch? Seems like false reporting to me. What the hell.

Mar. 02 2016 02:00 PM
Jim from Minneapolis

Thanks for the playlist! My Spotify Discover Weekly playlist should be a bit more interesting next week.

Mar. 02 2016 12:33 PM
Jill from USA

A long time listener and lover of science! I have really appreciated the human side of the stories you share. As of late to see different ways that technology and human interactions have shaped our culture (and other nations' cultures). Thank you for always finding different stories to share!

Mar. 01 2016 02:44 PM
Jihyun from South Korea

First of all, I'm Korean living in South Korea. I'd like to say this episode was well done in terms that it reflected real K-pop culture and even Korean society. The most interesting at the same time shaming thing was the government controlled media to make people distracted when the government did make mistakes. It really happened. I have to admit lots of weird things happen related to K-pop. It also has a lot of positive effects on society though. Absolutely! Anyway it was really fascinating to hear about Korean culture on the air as Korean. Thank you so much, Radiolab!

Feb. 29 2016 02:21 AM
Corey from California

Here's the playlist on Google Play if anyone else wants it (not all songs were available though):

Feb. 29 2016 12:58 AM

There seem to be multiple issues here, at least to people who've commented on this scandal in the past? ->

Feb. 28 2016 06:25 PM

I'm not a K pop fan, nor did I know much about it other than it's really popular. But I'm interested in Asian cultures and the differences between them and mine always fascinates me. I really liked this episode. I'd call it my favorite in a long time; probably since Staph Retreat. I love the more scientific episodes as well (CRISPR part 2?!), but there's nothing wrong with exploring social issues also.

Feb. 28 2016 03:08 PM
Mike from Denver

Wow different strokes for different folks. I disliked this episode so much that I was surprised people said this episode was fascinating. I don't have anything against k culture, but this episode lacked the essence of radio lab. I remember in one episode they describe why they started radio lab, about the feelings they wanted to invoke in their story telling. At the end of every radio lab I always feel like I learned something. I already knew Koreans and Americans had cultural differences, them not liking nude photos being the least interesting of those differences. Also I think the average public radio listener does so to get away from the Kardashian experience, seems so out of place. I couldn't agree more with the user who said they were trying to inject the "what's next" factor artificiacilly. This story just didn't have it, and came of as inauthentic.

I don't know much about it but sow some mentioned that there were corporate biases in the reporting, being that the guest was in direct competition of some of the subject matter. Not sure how credible that is, although interesting. I'd rather hear that story than the Kpop story :)

Feb. 28 2016 08:30 AM
Chuck from Sinan County, South Korea

K pop is also drowning out the more interesting music on the Han. For Korean music of nonzero artistic merit Juck Juck Grunzie is better-aligned with Radiolab's usual musical tastes.

Feb. 27 2016 06:04 PM
Oldster from Adirondacks, NY

I'm a bit of a science/history geek and when I saw the title for this podcast, I almost passed it over, but I found this story riveting. I'm not into ANY pop culture at all but this was so interesting! What I really appreciated was how a demographic could find ways to embrace new tech or new social elements while still respecting their own cultural roots and re-draw where THEY wanted the edges to be for their society. I wish we, as Americans could have done something similar... unfortunately we seem to race to the bottom pretty quickly when it comes to figuring out what we will and won't accept on our screens and in our lives.

GREAT job Radiolab!! Your show never disappoints this listener/supporter!

Feb. 27 2016 04:25 PM
david from nyc

This episode was absolutely fascinating. When someone asked me to describe Radiolab I said that it's a program about what we know about what we don't know. This episode hit the sweet spot again, at the very edge of what we perceive truth to be: how does an audience, a culture react to new stimuli? It's a very relevant and apt question - and provides insight into our lives as well as others. Thanks for a great show. Remember the riots after Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring? Neither do I! Thanks for the insight, and sorry for the others here that just don't get it.

You refer to images and sources in the podcast - please post those.

Feb. 27 2016 12:14 AM
Maddi from Saint Petersburg, Florida

The reason I love Radiolab is because they report on diverse topics and stories, most of which I would never hear of from anyone else! Isn't that what Radiolab is all about?! Thank you for an awesome episode. I am a fan of Kpop, so I was very excited to listen to this! I was not disappointed. No matter what you guys report on, I cannot seem to find another podcast that matches the superior level of quality of Radiolab. Jad and Robert always make my day better! Thank you!

Feb. 26 2016 02:07 PM
Daniel from Santa Barbara

I've never given too much thought to Kpop, but this was a fun/interesting episode. Also, I should hope all those commenters disparaging this episode have also given money to the program... As a recent donator (and proud owner of a WYNC tote bag) I say thank you to radiolab, keep up the good work.

Feb. 26 2016 01:00 PM
Camon from Las Vegas

Interesting show. When you reference looking at photo during discussions, it would be nice if you uploaded said photo to the episode page. I know this an audio platform, but more photos related to the story even if it just of the hosts in the studio would enrich the story experience.

Feb. 26 2016 10:06 AM
Cristina from Melbourne

Actually scratching my head. You tried to infuse suspense and a sense of "what next" but it didn't work. Radiolab is about making interesting radio, half way through the episode I moved on to the following podcast on Stitcher because I couldn't care less about the reactions to South Korean pop starts, really. Couldn't care less, and it's not just because I don't listen to K pop. In fact I remember an excellent TAL episode about a Japanese reality show and I do not watch those either!

Feb. 26 2016 08:34 AM
John from Colorado

Well, now I'm intrigued. What are "Saudi Price masturbatory practices"? Does it involve crude oil?

Feb. 25 2016 10:56 PM

As a note, just because it's not hard science doesn't mean it's not science. Social science is also science, and I felt like this was a very sociological episode. That said, it also fascinated me. Thank you, Radiolab!

Feb. 25 2016 07:42 PM

I'm sorry to insist, I just can't believe you put up such a silly episode. I was trying to recover from the previous one, and now this one. Please, go back to your stuff.

Feb. 25 2016 04:10 PM
Ken from Los Angeles

For those commenting on wanting more science stories, I would argue that this is a sociological look at pop culture from another country and its impact not only on South Korean society but that of other cultures and countries Kpop has influenced. Kpop is just the vehicle which was used.

Feb. 25 2016 04:00 PM

This is my first time listening to this podcast. My friend sent this to me since I'm a fan of Korean culture. This podcast is really well produced, and I loved the journalism style. Great information. Thanks!

Feb. 25 2016 03:55 PM

Can MacArthur get a refund? Why are we all in "post Kardashian hell"?

Whats next, a show on Saudi Price masturbatory practices?

Feb. 25 2016 03:51 PM
tedmich from PDX

Whats the opposite of "gravitas"?

A new low in, what had previously been, a science show.

Feb. 25 2016 03:46 PM
Meg from Chicago

More science, please. :(

Feb. 25 2016 02:33 PM

Please, please, let's go back to science and related issues. Please!


Feb. 25 2016 02:29 PM
Laughing_Beast from Czech Republic

Doh, I missed you talking about him being here ex-boyfriend and call to Dispatch. sorry. Rest stands though.

Feb. 25 2016 02:12 PM
Laughing_Beast from Czech Republic

AllKpop mostly recovered. Your guest telling it didn't is from big rival- Soompi. Interesting you failed to mention that. You also somehow missed that person behind Ailee's photos was HER ex-BOYFRIEND. Or that he admitted to offering photos to Dispatch.
Korea is nowhere near to being innocent. There were all kinds of awful stuff including career-shattering sex tape scandals long before Ailee. Just because it wasn't/isn't "western-style" doesn't mean it was/is any better. A lot of hatred aimed to AllKpop was coz they are perceived by some as "pro-Japanese" not coz of their ethics. Scandals of other Kpop sites helped them too.

Simply -Rest of program was ok and whole thing was well done. You failed hard when talking about Kpop/Korean journalism ethics though. You didn't lie, you just cherry picked truth. Seems you were more interested in giving lesson to western listeners than in accuracy.

Helen from Massachusetts: " How is a country so innocent?" Simply - It isn't.

Feb. 25 2016 01:54 PM
arth from georgia

I acutally liked this one, despite not having anything to do with science. Love Kdrama and it's fascinating to see how things are over there compared to here

Feb. 25 2016 11:42 AM
Jefferson from Atlanta

I can no longer tell my friends that Radio lab is one of my favorite things!
I loved the stories about scientific discoveries,history changing innovation,and insightful people that have found ways to make the world a better place.
I found the Gary Hart story out of place.Now this story about Korean pop bands?

Feb. 25 2016 10:40 AM
Jenny from Korea

I'm a Canadian, living in Korea and have thus far avoided kpop, as much as is possible... but this episode was absolutely fascinating. And I admit, I went and found a bunch of the songs on the playlist.

The whole episode got me thinking about being exposed. Shining a light on things. Made me think of coming out of the closet, actually... when you are hiding who you are, it is so easy for everything to be shameful, and for others to shame you. But when a light is shined on things, it changes... things become normal, and then...well, things just get better.

Feb. 25 2016 08:07 AM
Aloke from USA

So, are we running out of any interesting perspective on Science stories?
Whats with these recent "human interest" stories?

I skipped this one after 5 minutes.... Not interested in "pop music" from any culture, I suppose.

PS: I see a similar dilution of PBS science programs.. too much time spent on personalities, feelings.. etc. No new insights on hard sciences.

Feb. 25 2016 05:33 AM

This is a super interesting podcast! I'm definitely a k-pop fan, but am also interested in the culture that led up to such a commercialized business. From the end of the Korean war to now, it's all fascinating to see the cultural, economic, political, and social changes and how it's swept over the rest of the world. Really well done podcast.

Feb. 25 2016 12:54 AM

This was super interesting to listen to and I saw someone suggest Lim Kim to the staff and I have to second that! Specifically her song Awoo. Also Zion.T's Eat is playing on repeat for me lately.:D

Feb. 24 2016 11:55 PM
Rena from USA

I have been a K-pop fan for almost 3 years, but I had no idea that paparazzi spiraled up recently in South Korea. Also, I am actually a fan of SHINee and Shin Se Kyung, so I have no idea why I have never heard of that monumental scandal.

I personally love Ailee, so as her story unfolded I nearly teared up. As for Allkpop, it is still popular among K-pop fans; however, there are a multitude of complaints against the site.

Granted, Korean entertainment industries are notorious for their strict discipline. However, with the countless amount of labels today, there are a handful of more lenient companies. I feel as if the Korean entertainment industry is slowly bleeding into a more "real" concept – especially variety shows.

Thank you for sharing this story!
If you ever decide on making another Korean episode, I suggest talking about variety shows like "Infinity Challenge" and "Running Man" two very popular TV shows. They are very different from typical game shows. Infinity challenge is more popular in Korea, whereas Running Man is extremely well-known among foreign countries.

Feb. 24 2016 09:17 PM

Gabriel, the song is "U&I" by Ailee:

Feb. 24 2016 07:54 PM
Gabriel from Tokyo, Japan

Very interesting episode indeed! I live in Tokyo and the idol culture here is no joke either! However K-Pop has perhaps almost overcome J-Pop in its popularity, in Japan! The K-Pop groups have more advertisements around the city than do their Japanese counterparts..

Quick question- does anyone know what the background track playing at about 37:39 during the episode is?


Feb. 24 2016 07:05 PM
Sarah from Austin, TX

Longtime hallyu fan and general Korean culture follower, here. Super interesting to hear Jad and Robert's reactions to the black ocean incident, thanks for that!

Fans have always looked at Dispatch as sleazy, naturally, so I have to admit it's almost disappointing to hear Radiolab treating them as a positive force. These years of scandal after scandal are seen as dark times, because there's so much pain inflicted on the celebrities - not just by the public, but by their own management companies.

I'd never looked at it through the lens of what has come of it, though - there truly has been an increase in freedom of kpop idols to be more human in the public eye. Whether this has had any effect on those "no dating" rules imposed on kpop trainees seems unlikely, at current.

I think the story inflates Ailee's popularity a tad, but it does represent a trend. It should be mentioned that Girls' Generation, the subject of the "black ocean", went on to become one of the most popular kpop acts of all time, also winning unprecedented numbers of music awards in Korea.

I'd like to submit that some of the commonality here may be more about people wanting to see the beleaguered underdog do well (this is a theme in a huge number of Korean TV dramas) - not just between Girls' Generation and Ailee's stories, but between our two cultures.

Feb. 24 2016 04:13 PM
Elan' from Los Angeles

Wow, this piece is like chocolate getting into my peanut butter. I would have never thought I'd hear Robert Krulwich talk about Girl's Generation.

...And may I recommend to the staff Lim Kim.

Feb. 24 2016 03:39 PM
Candas from Turkey

The blackout video is really scary:
And Ailee's crowd reaction can be watched here

Feb. 24 2016 12:58 PM
Randy from Edmonton, Alberta

Thanks for such a fantasic episode. My brothers and I have a casual interest in k-pop, and this really made me think of it in a new way.

For anyone looking for a photo of the "black ocean" incident that Girls Generation played to as was talked about on the podcast, a quick google image search has you covered:

Feb. 24 2016 12:32 PM
Kyron from Phoenix

I wanted to see the picture of the black sea

Feb. 24 2016 12:16 PM
Helen from Massachusetts

The levels of interpretation for this story are exciting, vast, philosophic! So many questions: how does an audience remain so gullible, before the snapshot reveal? How was there never a riot amid an audience of impassioned glowstick wielders? What effects does K-Pop have on the heart rate, adrenaline? How is a country so innocent? And when Haeryun Kang (Dispatch? is that the right name?) breaks through the brick wall — in the U.S., it’s seedy. For Seoul's “stars,” ultimately, it means Freedom. For short time. I am probably not alone it thinking that once money gets involved, even in a place with genuine ideals concerning honor, it’s like the proverbial kids in the alley smoking cigarettes — or eating high fructose corn syrup products, or target shooting, etc., and offer you, time and time again,to join in; sooner or later you do. And then you’re addicted. Which brings to mind another question: what is the emotional and psychological age of an innocent person? Moreover, what is the emotional and psychological age of a country, and when does that deteriorate? One more observation: one can draw an arc of what happens to the audience, what happens to the star, and what happens to the media, each as a response to have been mislead. In doing so, you can predict the next stage. And it doesn’t look good. Thanks for all this food for thought.

Feb. 24 2016 11:23 AM
Stephanie from USA

Sav from Leeds—I have Spotify and it still won't work, so you're not missing out on anything

Feb. 24 2016 10:26 AM

Thanks for this episode. This was all pretty nostalgic for me.

I was heavily into / obsessed with Kpop for much of my high school years (and it is definitely a huge phenomenon like none other) but I never knew that paparazzi and tabloids were a recent development. That was an interesting tidbit.

Feb. 24 2016 10:21 AM
Sav from Leeds, UK

It would be nice to have the playlist in a format that does not require you to have Spotify!

Very interesting episode, thanks for all the work that went into producing it!

Feb. 24 2016 05:41 AM

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