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A man has been sentenced to death in North Korea for smuggling and selling copies of Netflix's hit series Squid Game.

Just one week after the Daily Star reported on the popularity of the South Korean-made show in the communist state, it appears that Dear Leader is cracking down on those who are bringing it in.

As Netflix isn't available in North Korea, professional contraband smugglers had turned to pirating the series onto USBs or DVDs and bringing it into the country.

But, according to Radio Free Asia, a source said that the man was killed by "firing squad".

And another student who got the USB was given a life sentence.

His friends who watched it, however, got off a little easier, as they have to spend five years at a hard labour camp.

There are also reports of teachers and school staff at one school where it was shown being sent to "remote mines".

A local North Korean policeman told RFA: "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.

"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."

Surveillance Bureau Group 109 is a form of secret service that catches people watching "illegal" material.

The arrests are thought to be the first ones applied using the new Elimination of Reactionary Thought and Culture law, which carries a maximum penalty of death for watching, keeping, or distributing media from "capitalist" countries, particularly from South Korea and America.

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"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 added.

"It means that the bloody winds of investigation and punishment will soon blow," said the source, implying that a lengthy investigation would reveal the chain of distribution as each new person under investigation would be forced to tell where they got their copy from and who else they shared it with.

"The government is taking this incident very seriously, saying that the students' education was being neglected. The Central Committee dismissed the school principal, their youth secretary, and their homeroom teacher.

"They were also expelled from the party. It is certain that they will be sent to toil in coal mines or exiled to rural parts of the country, so other school teachers are all worrying that it could happen to them too if one of their students is also caught up in the investigation."

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  • North Korea Dprk
  • Squid Game
  • Netflix

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