March 1, 2024

In North Korea, the crime of viewing or listening to South Korean entertainment is punishable by death. So consider these two 16-year-olds lucky; they just have to serve 12 years of hard labor for watching a K-drama.

The BBC received a video (below) that shows the boys (with faces blurred) being handcuffed by uniformed officers at an outdoor stadium in front of a large group of students sitting ramrod straight in chairs.

From The BBC:

The video includes a narrator who is repeating state propaganda. “The rotten puppet regime’s culture has spread even to teenagers,” says the voice, in an apparent reference to South Korea. “They are just 16 years old, but they ruined their own future,” it adds.

The boys were also named by officers and had their addresses revealed.

In the past, minors who broke the law in this way would be sent to youth labour camps rather than put behind bars, and the punishment was usually less than five years.

In 2020, however, Pyongyang enacted a law to make watching or distributing South Korean entertainment punishable by death.

The BBC interviewed a defector from North Korea who said he had been forced to watch a 22-year-old man shot to death because he’d been listening to South Korean music and sharing South Korean movies with a friend.

Another North Korea defector said, “If you get caught watching an American drama, you can get away with a bribe, but if you watch a Korean drama, you get shot.”

Can’t these kids stick with DPRK-pop groups like Moranbong Band?

BTW, check out this awesome doctored video of the Korean People’s Army State Merited Chorus and Symphony Orchestra covering Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name.”