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Korean Wave

North Korean to be executed ‘Squid Game’-style after smuggling South Korean series 

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo - Philstar.com
North Korean to be executed âSquid Gameâ-style after smuggling South Korean series 
Scenes from 'Squid Game'
Netflix/Released

MANILA, Philippines — A North Korean student was reportedly sentenced to die by firing squad, one of the killing methods seen in “Squid Game,” after smuggling the hit South Korean series to North Korea.

The high school student, said a Daily Mail report, is said to have traveled to China and returned to North Korea with a digital copy of “Squid Game” saved on a USB flash drive. Upon returning to North Korea, the student reportedly watched the series with one of his best friends. The two told their other friends about the series so they became interested to buy copies from him.

North Korea’s surveillance services Bureau Group 109 Sangmu reportedly got a tipoff that the alleged smuggler and his fellow students were watching a Western TV show. The student was then reportedly caught by North Korea’s surveillance services after he sold copies of the digital version to several people, including fellow students. He, including some of his customers, were allegedly arrested last week in North Hamgyong province, bordering China.

The seven students’ arrests is reportedly the first time for North Korea to apply its newly passed “Elimination of Reactionary Thought and Culture” law to minors. The law, which seeks to ban any material from the West and South Korea, bestows a maximum penalty of death to anyone who watches, keeps or distributes media from capitalist countries.

While the alleged smuggler received a death sentence by firing squad, according to a Radio Free Asia report, a student who bought a copy was given a life sentence, while six others were sentenced to five years hard labor.

Some teachers of the students were reportedly fired or could also be punished with hard labor in remote mines. The school principal, youth secretary and the students’ homeroom teacher were also reportedly expelled from the Communist party and will reportedly face exile or coal mines labor as sanction.

Following the arrests, markets are now being reportedly raided for any memory storage device or compact disk that may contain foreign media.

“The residents are all trembling in fear because they will be mercilessly punished for buying or selling memory storage devices, no matter how small,” one of Daily Mail’s sources told the United Kingdom publisher. 

The South Korea dystopian drama “Squid Game,” which tells the stories of heavily indebted people who face death if they lose while competing for prize money from doing Korean kids’ games, is believed to highly resonate with what is happening in North Korea.

SQUID GAME
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