NEWS: North Korea
North Korea Has Publicly Executed 7 People because they watched K‑Pop.

North Korea Has Pub­licly Exe­cut­ed At Least 7 Peo­ple For Watch­ing K‑Pop
At least sev­en peo­ple have been pub­licly exe­cut­ed in North Korea for watch­ing or dis­trib­ut­ing K‑pop videos, accord­ing to a new report from a human rights group.

As out­lined by The New York Times, the Seoul-based Tran­si­tion­al Jus­tice Work­ing Group released a report on Wednes­day (15 Decem­ber) detail­ing the exe­cu­tions under Kim Jong-un’s government.

The pub­li­ca­tion went on to describe how one of the lead­er’s tac­tics to deter cit­i­zens from watch­ing or cir­cu­lat­ing the banned con­tent is to exe­cute offend­ers in public.

Based on inter­views with almost 700 defec­tors, the report reveals that of the sev­en who were killed for their involve­ment with K‑pop, six took place in Hye­san between 2012 and 2014.

The North Kore­an city sits on the bor­der of Chi­na and, as such, is often a place where defec­tors pass through and con­tent includ­ing South Kore­an enter­tain­ment is smug­gled into the country.

There­fore, Hye­san is a loca­tion that has become a place where Kim’s focus is to crack down on the incom­ing K‑pop media and instil fear in the population.

“The fam­i­lies of those being exe­cut­ed were often forced to watch the exe­cu­tion,” said the report.

The coun­try’s leader pre­vi­ous­ly referred to K‑pop cul­ture as a ‘vicious can­cer’ and fears it could cor­rupt residents.

A new law adopt­ed last Decem­ber has led to a crack­down on dis­trib­ut­ing media from cap­i­tal­ist coun­tries includ­ing South Korea, with the max­i­mum penal­ty being death.

And K‑pop isn’t the only thing being attacked as part of Kim’s cul­ture war — cit­i­zens have been warned to avoid all things South Kore­an includ­ing fash­ion, music, hair­styles and slang.

Last month, it was revealed that a North Kore­an man was sen­tenced to death by fir­ing squad after smug­gling and sell­ing copies of the hit Net­flix show Squid Game.

Author­i­ties caught the man after sev­en high school stu­dents were found to be watch­ing the Net­flix series, which has been a glob­al phenomenon.

The copy was report­ed­ly smug­gled from Chi­na in the form of a USB stick and sold to a stu­dent in North Korea, who then shared it with their friends.

Severe pun­ish­ments were also giv­en out to the stu­dents who watched the show, includ­ing a life sen­tence for the stu­dent who bought the copy.

Speak­ing to CNN, Jean Lee, a senior fel­low at the US-based Wil­son Cen­ter and the for­mer Pyongyang bureau chief for the Asso­ci­at­ed Press, explained that ris­ing knowl­edge of the out­side world is a threat to Kim’s regime.

She said: “It absolute­ly does pose a threat if young North Kore­ans are watch­ing South Kore­an dra­mas and see­ing what life is like for Kore­ans out­side their coun­try, because they’re see­ing images of Seoul, of how well they’re liv­ing, how freely they’re living.”

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