Last week, Radiofrit Asia reported to copy from Play squid had been smuggled into North Korea on USB drives and SD cards. Now according to RFA, a man who is said to have smuggled in the show, has been sentenced to death by a firing squad.
Sources tell RFA that a North Korean student who bought the USB drive has received a life sentence, while six others who watched the program have to serve five years of hard work. Teachers and administrators at the school have been fired, expected from the Labor Party, and may end up being banished to work in remote mines.
“It all started last week when a high school student secretly bought a USB flash drive with the South Korean drama Play squid and saw it with one of his best friends in class, ”a source in law enforcement in North Hamgyong province was quoted as saying. RFA‘s Korean service.
“The friend told several other students who became interested and they shared the flash drive with them.” Government censors received a tip and students were arrested.
Earlier this month Washington Post reported that a state-run North Korean website said Play squid reflects an “unequal society in which the strong exploit the weak” and shows the “animal-like” character of “the South Korean capitalist society in which humanity is wiped out by extreme competition.”
But while a North Korean government’s mouthpiece may feel comfortable using the show to dig into its southern neighbor, it’s illegal for North Korean citizens to watch the show – or any South Korean television program. International media, especially the influence of the free market South Korean culture, seems to be considered a threat to the ruling power in North Korea.
Last year, the country adopted legislation called “the law of abolition of reactionary thinking and culture”, which can result in the death penalty for viewing, owning or distributing media from capitalist countries such as South Korea and the United States “Law enforcement is not playing with new law and they are desperately trying to eradicate all cases of capitalist culture, ”a source said earlier RFA.
“But no matter how severe the government’s repression seems to be, rumors are circulating that among the seven arrested students, one with rich parents was able to avoid punishment because they bribed the authorities with US $ 3,000,” said another source.
“Residents complain that the world is unfair, because if parents have money and power, even their children sentenced to death can be released.”
Earlier this year another man believed to have been executed for violation of the same legislation by sell illegally CDs and USB filled with South Korean music and TV shows.