Ahead of its long-awaited comeback, EXO may have found some fans from perhaps the most unexpected place in the world: North Korea.
Twitter Korea has unveiled a trend map that highlights all the areas around the globe where EXO fans are located. Of the some 11 million tweets posted between 8 a.m. on Sunday and 7:45 a.m. on Monday, 15 were found to have come from the isolated country.
The cities the tweets were traced to include not only major cities like Pyongyang and Hamhung, South Hamgyong Province, but small and border towns in North Pyongan Province and North Hamgyong Province.
It remains unclear whether the messages were actually sent by North Koreans or foreigners. The country is notorious for strict restrictions on internet access, which is given to the very upper echelons of the elite and extremely scarce among rank-and-file citizens.
Yet despite the regime’s tight control, South Korean dramas, films and pop music have for years been enjoying high popularity North Koreans. Many residents, especially in border regions, share them with one another such as by using USB-equipped mobile devices, defectors say.