Feb. 19 (UPI) -- North Korea state media berated South Korean television programs for excessive use of words that mix the Korean language with foreign tongues.
Pyongyang propaganda service Meari said Wednesday in a rare statement referring to South Korean content, the South's use of foreign words and slang, mostly borrowed from English, are destroying the Korean language.
State media referred to talent shows and soap operas on South Korea's main networks MBC, KBS and SBS, while claiming a foreign or "mongrel" word is used in speech at least once every minute.
The mixing of foreign words forces Korean to lose its linguistic purity, Meari claimed.
North Korea also gave a thumbs down to South Korean pop music, which has gained a global following, thanks to megastars like BTS.
Pyongyang said South Korean songs use "bizarre" words that make it hard to distinguish them as Korean music. The regime also blamed South Korean broadcasters for encouraging the contamination of the Korean language, according to South Korean news service NK Economy.
Korean spoken in the North and South differ in noticeable ways, defectors have previously said. The extensive use of English in the South is an obstacle to adjustment for newly arrived North Koreans.
Defectors are taught the basics of life at South Korean government-run Hanawon upon initial arrival. The settlement support center has processed more than 33,000 refugees, and is stepping up measures in response to the outbreak of the new strain of coronavirus that began in China.
Yonhap reported Wednesday Hanawon is stepping up disease prevention in its facilities as cases rise in the South. Some of the center's programs are being canceled to minimize group activities, according to the report.
North Korean defectors typically travel undercover to the South through China and a third country before they are able to seek asylum.