Man in North Korean sentenced to death after smuggling in banned copies of Netflix series ‘Squid Game’

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A smuggler who sold copies of Netflix’s smash hit series “Squid Game” in North Korea has been sentenced to death by a firing squad, according to a report.

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The man allegedly smuggled copies of the Korean-language show on USB drives from China to North Korea, where seven high school students were caught watching footage, Sources told Radio Free Asia,

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A student who bought a flash drive received a life sentence, while six others who viewed the footage were sentenced to five years of hard labor. Sources told the outlet that school teachers and administrators were also fired or faced forced labor in remote mines.

radio free asia reported last week That the hit series had made its way into the reclusive Hermit kingdom, where foreign media is banned, despite efforts by North Korean officials to keep it out of the country.

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Sources told the RFA that the dystopian, graphic and violent show depicts approximately 456 debt-ridden South Koreans playing a series of life-or-death children’s games with North Koreans, especially wealthy residents of Pyongyang. $38 million stand a chance of being resonated.

“Squid game is able to enter the country on memory storage devices such as USB flash drives and SD cards, which are smuggled by ship, and then make their way inland,” a resident of Pyeongsong told RFA. “They say the material is akin to the lives of Pyongyang officials who fight in the forex market as if it is a battle of life and death.”

The source said the plot of the show “parallels” reality for some in North Korea, where those who make too much money can be “executed”.

“This resonates not only with the wealthy, but also with Pyongyang’s youth as they are drawn to unusually violent scenes,” the man continued. “They secretly watch shows under their blankets on their portable media players at night.”

A law enforcement source in northern Hamgyong province – which shares a border with China – told the RFA on Monday that a high school student watched a “squid game” in class with a friend.

“The friend told several other students who were interested, and he shared the flash drive with them,” the source said. “They were caught by the censors at 109 Sangmu, who had received a tip-off.”

The government’s strike force against outside media – Surveillance Bureau Group 109 – arrested seven students, the RFA reported, in what is believed to be the first time North Korea is enforcing a new law involving minors.

After the students were apprehended, authorities began scouring nearby markets for other memory storage devices and foreign media, a North Hamgyong source said.

A second source told the RFA, “All residents are trembling with fear as they will be brutally punished for buying or selling a memory storage device, no matter how small.” “But no matter how strict the government’s action, rumors are spreading that one of the seven students arrested was a wealthy parent who was able to evade punishment because they paid a bribe of $3,000 to the authorities.”

North Korea last year passed a law on the “elimination of reactionary thought and culture” that carries the maximum death penalty for viewing, possessing or distributing media from capitalist countries such as South Korea and the US, the RFA reported.

A second source told the RFA, “Law enforcement is not messing with the new law, and they are trying to root out every instance of capitalist culture.” “But times are tough due to the pandemic, so the police are also struggling to feed their stomachs. If you get caught watching South Korean media, putting a few bucks in their pockets will get them away. ,

A message sought from Netflix NFLX,
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Was not immediately returned by post on Wednesday.

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