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Report: Squid Game Smuggler Gets Death Sentence in NK

Students who watched it will serve 5 years of hard labor, sources say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2021 2:30 PM CST
Report: Squid Game Smuggler Gets Death Sentence in NK
This photo shows South Korean cast members, from left, Park Hae-soo, Lee Jung-jae, and Jung Ho-yeon in a scene from "Squid Game."   (Youngkyu Park/Netflix via AP)

(Newser) – In the Netflix series Squid Game, luckless South Koreans are executed for losing children's games. In real-life North Korea, you can be executed for distributing Squid Game, according to Radio Free Asia. The US-funded news agency, citing sources in North Korea, reports that a man who smuggled a copy of the series into the country from China and sold copies on USB flash drives has been sentenced to death and will be executed by firing squad. The sources say that after the feared Surveillance Bureau Group 109, which has been enforcing a crackdown on foreign media, received a tipoff, seven high school students were caught watching the series.

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The student who bought the flash drive received a life sentence, and six others were sentenced to five years of hard labor, although the parents of one student are rumored to have bought his freedom with a $3,000 bribe, RFA's sources say. Teachers and school administrators were fired and could be reassigned to work in coal mines, the sources say. Last month, propagandists in North Korea said Squid Game was a hit in Western countries because it "exposes the reality of South Korean capitalist culture." Sources told RFA last week, however, that the show also struck a chord with many North Koreans, especially those in risky occupations like smuggling. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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