A North Korean man has reportedly been sentenced to death for smuggling in the movie ‘Squid Game’.
According to Radio Free Asia, the unnamed man was caught illegally distributing the South Korean survival drama series.
It was gathered that he smuggled copies of the series on USB drives from China into North Korea.
Seven high school students were also caught watching the series, one of whom is said to have received a life sentence.
The six other students who watched the series were said to have been sentenced to five years of hard labor while some teachers and school administrators have been fired and faced banishment to work in remote mines.
Sources in the know of the case were quoted as saying that the man’s execution will be carried out by firing squad.
The case, RFA said, is the first time North Korea enforced on minors its “elimination of reactionary thought and culture” law that sets execution as the penalty for “watching, keeping, or distributing media” from capitalist states.
“They were caught by the censors in 109 Sangmu, who had received a tipoff,” the source in law enforcement added, referring to a government strike force that hunts illegal video watchers, known as Surveillance Bureau Group 109.
“This all started last week when a high school student secretly bought a USB flash drive containing the South Korean drama Squid Game and watched it with one of his best friends in class,” the law enforcement said.
“The friend told several other students, who became interested, and they shared the flash drive with them.”
‘Squid Game’ tells the story of a contest where 456 players are drawn from different walks of life.
Deeply in debt, they play children’s games with deadly penalties for those who lose — with the sole aim to win ₩45.6 billion.
Following its release, ‘Squid Game’ quickly became a global phenomenon, becoming Netflix’s biggest series ever.
Reports had claimed that the show’s dystopian world, where marginalised people are pitted against one another with the losing players put to death, resonates with North Koreans in risky occupations and insecure positions.
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