Thu. Mar 30th, 2023


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North Korean kids face five years in jail for watching Hollywood movies

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The North Korean authorities have launched a major crackdown on people watching Western-made films and TV programmes.

Children and their parents face jail time if they are caught watching Hollywood blockbusters, it has been announced.

There’s a massive demand for Western media in Kim Jong-un’s isolated state, but anyone who is convicted of selling smuggled videos can be sentenced to death.

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Previously, watching the movies resulted in a stern warning but now, Radio Free Asia reports, there will no longer be leniency for parents whose children are exposed to Western culture.

From now on, being caught watching the latest Marvel movie, for example, could land kids with a five-year term in a prison camp, while their parents face six months.

Even talking, dancing or singing “like a South Korean” could mean harsh punishment – both for K-Pop loving kids and their parents.

The new directive “emphasises parental responsibility, saying that education for children begins at home”, a source told Radio Free Asia.

“If parents do not educate their children from moment to moment, they will dance and sing of capitalism and become anti-socialists”.

In October 2022 two teenagers that had been found guilty of watching and sharing South Korean films were reportedly executed by firing squad in the city of Hyesan, close to North Korea’s border with China

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China is the main source for bootleg copies of South Korean and US films and music being smuggled into the hermit kingdom, with USB drives and CDs being smuggled across the border.

After a North Korean man named Lee was executed for selling CD-ROMs and memory sticks containing South Korean movies, TV shows and music videos, an official report described his death as as: “The first execution in Gangwon Province for anti-socialist acts under the anti-reactionary thought law.”

"In the past people like Lee were sent to labour or re-education camps. It would be a grave error to believe that you will receive light punishment. Such reactionary behaviour helps people who are attempting to destroy our socialism."


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