Nov 25 (IndiaToday) – A North Korean man has been sentenced to death for distributing copies of the hit Netflix series Squid Game. His execution will reportedly be carried out by the firing squad. Others have been sentenced to life imprisonment and hard labour for watching the show illegally.
Radio Free Asia reported that the ‘smuggler’ acquired a copy of the show in China and brought it back to North Korea. He allegedly sold copies of the show on USB flash drives.
Squid Game grabbed eyeballs with its edge-of-the-seat story. The nine-episode series tells the story of a group of desperate people who sign up to play mysterious children’s games in the hope of winning a hefty cash prize.
While a student was given a life sentence for buying a flash drive, six others were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for five years for watching the show. Sources said teachers and administrators of the school have been expelled and sent to toil in mines as punishment for the ‘lapse’.
“This all started last week when a high school student secretly bought a USB flash drive containing the South Korean drama Squid Game and watched it with one of his best friends in class,” a source in law enforcement told RFA’s Korean Service.
“The friend told several other students, who became interested, and they shared the flash drive with them. They were caught by the censors in 109 Sangmu, who had received a tipoff,” the source said.
The accused were held under the newly passed law on the ‘Elimination of Reactionary Thought and Culture’.
The law carried a maximum penalty of death for watching, possessing, or distributing media from countries, especially the US and South Korea.
“Residents are engulfed by anxiety, as the seven will be mercilessly interrogated until the authorities can find out how the drama was smuggled in with the border closed due to the coronavirus pandemic,” the source told the news portal.
The source also said the government was dealing with the issue very seriously and the Central Committee dismissed the school principal, their youth secretary, and their homeroom teacher.
Authorities have now begun raiding markets for memory storage devices and video CDs containing foreign media, a resident of the province told RFA.
“The residents are all trembling in fear because they will be mercilessly punished for buying or selling memory storage devices, no matter how small,” another source said.
Squid Game has become Netflix’s biggest series launch ever. The South Korean survival drama, which premiered on September 17, recently hit 111 million views on the OTT platform. Directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, Squid Game surpassed Netflix’s popular English series Bridgerton, which garnered 82 million views in its first 28 days.