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Man sentenced to death for smuggling Squid Game into North Korea

The Netflix show was brought into the country on USB sticks and CDs.

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The fact that life in a communist country like North Korea is not a bed of roses is nothing new. Now this has led to the first real victim of Squid Game as a man has been sentenced to death for smuggling in and selling copies of the popular Netflix series. North Korean authorities caught high school students watching the program, which Radio Free Asia says was smuggled in from China on USB sticks, Variety reports. The smuggler is thus sentenced to death by firing squad.

The madness does not stop there, however. The student who bought the copy was sentenced to life imprisonment and other students who watched the series will serve five years in North Korean prison, which is most likely not a bed of roses either. But it doesn't end there either. To top it all off, and to set an example, teachers and administrators at the school in question have also been fired and deported to distant mines for penal servitude. Only last April, a man was publicly executed for illegally distributing CD's and USB sticks containing South Korean films, music and TV programmes.

One might think that the punishments here are somewhat harsh, simply because of course they are. Absurdly harsh. It all stems from the new "Elimination of Reactionary Thought and Culture act" of 2020, which regulates what can and cannot be shown in the country, a law basically created to prevent the spread of media from capitalist countries like South Korea and the US. This act stipulates the dissemination of media from South Korea as particularly serious and Squid Game, which has been branded by the propaganda machine as "a sad reality of a beastly South Korean society".

After all, the hit series is from South Korea, ergo the death penalty. That's the reasoning there, so maybe it's something for us all to think about the next time we find ourselves complaining about poor offerings on streaming platforms. For our own part at least, we'd rather take a bare bones offering than arch execution.

Man sentenced to death for smuggling Squid Game into North Korea

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