While the Squid Game phenomenon may soon be a thing of the past, a man attempted to “smuggle” the craze into North Korea, unaware that his actions would seal his fate.
The smuggler who imported and sold copies of the popular South Korean series into North Korea has been condemned to death. According to Business Insider, he will be executed by firing squad. Unfortunately, the smuggler is not the only one who has been sentenced to death.
A high school student who purchased a USB flash drive holding the TV series was also sentenced to life in prison. Furthermore, North Korean authorities in Pyongyang apprehended another 6 high school students who watched the series and sentenced them to 5 years of hard labour!
If you believe the sanctions end here, you’re mistaken.
According to the NZ Herald, the punishments also included high school officials and instructors. They were all relieved of their responsibilities, but that’s not even the worst part. Soon after being sacked, they were all exiled to a remote mine and forced to labour there. The length of their punishment, however, is unknown.
North Korean officials are cracking down not only on those who watch the film, but also on those who “distribute” it.
According to Radio Free Asia, word spread when the first student watched the series with one of his friends, and his friend told the others about it. That’s how it got into the eyes and ears of the censors, a North Korean government strike group that specialises in catching illegal video viewers.
The source that spoke to Radio Free Asia has also hinted at the anxiety that the residents are feeling.
“Everyone that was caught will be mercilessly interrogated until they find out how the smuggling take place when borders are closed due to the pandemic.”
He also revealed that the inevitable long investigations will cause others with no connections to the incident to be held responsible. The government is taking this issue seriously as they believe the students’ attention is distracted as their education is being neglected.