New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has been unable to secure any theaters in South Korea for their upcoming 2024 tour. NTD is lifting the curtain on the pressure China’s communist regime is bringing to bear on Korean broadcasters and theaters. The Chinese Communist Party’s leverage there stems from the popularity of Korean soap operas on Chinese television—a strong source of income for Korean broadcasters, and one they seem afraid to lose.
The CCP’s influence in Korea has penetrated official life so strongly that KBS Hall—which is owned by state-funded public broadcaster Korean Broadcasting System—canceled Shen Yun’s scheduled performances in 2016. And this although thousands of Shen Yun tickets had been sold. It later emerged that multiple requests from the Chinese embassy in Seoul had threatened KBS’s business prospects in China.
According to the Shen Yun Performing Arts website, “The company’s mission is to use performing arts to revive the essence of Chinese culture—traditionally considered a divinely inspired civilization.” But because the CCP is officially an atheist regime, Shen Yun says the communist regime is fearful of the freedom of expression this arts company enjoys in the West.
Steve Lance, the host of NTD’s Capitol Report, travelled to South Korea to find out more, and to prepare a special report on the issue. So just how strong of a grip does the CCP have on South Korea? How do the people of South Korea feel about this, considering communist North Korea is right next door—are they even aware of the issue, and are they concerned?