That’s right: it’s all a South Korean plot. From NPR:
In the late ’90s, when Asia went through a huge financial crisis, South Korea’s leaders decided to use music to improve its image and build its cultural influence. So the country’s government poured millions of dollars into forming a Ministry of Culture with a specific department devoted to K-pop.
“It turns out that the Korean government treats its K-pop industry the way that the American government treats its automobile and banking industry, meaning that these are industries that have to be protected,” Hong says.
This included doing things like building massive, multi-million dollar concert auditoriums, refining hologram technology, and even helping regulate noeraebangs — karaoke bars — to protect the interests of K-pop stars.
“They wanted Korea of the 21st century to be like America of the 20th century where America was just considered so universally cool that anything made in America would automatically be bought.”
Read the whole story here.