North Korean sentenced to death for smuggling ‘Squid Game’

North Korean sentenced to death for smuggling 'Squid Games'

The North Korean government is famous for its strict regulations. Its citizens have almost no interaction with the rest of the world. So what do you do when you feel like watching a movie or a tv series? You can’t just lay back and watch something on Netflix.

No Netflix in North Korea

Though North Korea has internet these days, it certainly isn’t gonna let you watch Netflix. With numerous restrictions and state regulations, you’ll find only state-run websites there. So how do you watch a western movie then? You’ll have to smuggle it in just like drugs. But the risks are high, and a North Korean man recently got sentenced to death after he was caught selling USB flash drives containing Netflix’s recent hit “Squid game.”

North Korea has a long history of people fascinated with western media and the state trying to control it. The recent success and popularity of squid games have ramped up people’s fascinations. Even more, the law enforcers have been on the alert: checking USB flash drives and disks for illegal content.

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Squid Game | Official Trailer | Netflix

‘Squid Game’ smuggled into North Korea

And after a tip-off, North Korean authorities arrested a man who smuggled “Squid Game” into North Korea and seven other students who were allegedly watching and distributing the show. Government censors caught the students after a tip-off, the source told RFA.

The North Korean man first smuggled the show from China into North Korea. After that, he sold it to a high school student. The high school student later distributed the show among six of his friends. The man who smuggled the show has been sentenced to the death penalty. His sentence will be carried out in a firing squad.

The student who bought the show was also sentenced to death, but according to some sources, his rich parents bribed the authorities ($3000) and got life imprisonment instead. There are rumors that another student got off the hook because his rich parents bribed the authorities. The other students involved were sentenced to five years of hard labor.

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Life sentence for bringing a drive

“A student who bought a drive received a life sentence, while six others who watched the show have been sentenced to five years hard labor,” RFA reported.

Last year in December, North Korea passed a new act, “Elimination of Reactionary Thought and Culture,” which prohibits the country’s entry and dissemination of cultural material like films, plays, music, and books. The act aims to prevent the spread of media from South Korea and the U.S., and those found distributing or consuming these are liable to be punished. It’s the first time North Korea has used this new law.
An RFA source said, “The government is taking this incident very seriously, saying that the students’ education was being neglected”. There will likely be further investigation into this incident, and more people will be punished.