“Squid Game”: Smuggler in North Korea sentenced to death

kmpkt Fiction becomes reality

North Korea imposes the death penalty for smuggling copies of Squid Game into the country

The guards with pink suits from the Netflix series

The South Korean series “Squid Game” is just one of many productions that are banned in North Korea

Source: Netflix

The Netflix series “Squid Game” is considered “capitalist propaganda” in North Korea. One man nevertheless dared to sell illegal copies in the country. The communist regime police caught him. Now he and others face cruel punishments.

EA man was allegedly sentenced to death in a court in North Korea for smuggling copies of the Netflix series “Squid Game” into the country. This is reported by Radio Free Asia (RFA), a news agency sponsored by the US government. The convicted man is said to have smuggled a copy of the successful South Korean series, in which highly indebted people fight for life and death in a gaming tournament, from China to North Korea and circulated it there. His execution is to be carried out by firing squad.

But draconian punishments are not just waiting for the smuggler. A student who bought a copy of the South Korean series received a life sentence – and six classmates who allegedly watched the Netflix production with him were each sentenced to five years in a labor camp.

The characters Jung Ho-yeon and Jang Deok-su from the Netflix show

The South Korean production “Squid Game” (scene with Heo Sung-tae, right) is understood by some as a criticism of capitalism or the regime

Quelle: YOUNGKYU PARK/Netflix

Several teachers and administrators at the school have also reportedly been fired. “They were from the party [Partei der Arbeit Koreas, PdAK] excluded, ”said an unnamed source from the North Hamgyŏng Province Criminal Investigation Department Radio Free Asia. The teachers are now threatened with forced labor in remote mines in the communist country.

But how did the North Korean authorities find out about the smuggler and the students?

“It all started last week,” claims the RFA source. “A high school student secretly bought a USB memory stick with the South Korean drama series ‘Squid Game’ and watched it with one of his best friends in class.” Then other classmates found out about the copy and borrowed the USB stick.

A special unit of the North Korean police would have caught the young people – because the local censorship authority received a tip about the spread of “Squid Game”. The high school students were then arrested.

Scene (screenshot) from

More than 110 million people have streamed Squid Game, according to Netflix

Source: Netflix

“The government is taking the incident very seriously,” claims the RFA source

Because the actions of the schoolchildren and the smuggler violate a law that was only introduced last year: the “Law for the Elimination of Reactionary Thought and Cultural Property”. Accordingly, viewing, owning and distributing media content from “capitalist” countries is prohibited. Violations of the law face the maximum penalty: a death sentence.

The RFA source suspects the police will “mercilessly question” the seven students until they find out how the drama series was smuggled into the country. Because of the corona pandemic, the borders are closed. According to another unnamed source from the region, authorities have already started searching markets for storage media.

Here’s how people in the United Arab Emirates react to the series:

Fiction becomes reality

A scene from the South Korean series