North Korea’s Shocking Punishment: 12-Year Sentence for Watching South Korean Series
A North Korean teenager was sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for watching a South Korean drama.
The BBC reported on the 18th (local time) a video presumed to have been filmed in 2022.
The video shows two 16-year-old North Korean teenagers standing in front of hundreds of students in an outdoor stadium. A police officer in uniform handcuffs the North Korean teenager and reprimands him for “not deeply reflecting on his mistakes.”
The narration also includes repeated national propaganda. It sends a warning-like message to North Korean residents, stating, “The rotten puppet regime’s culture has even spread to teenagers, and they have ruined their future at 16.”
The BBC, in its coverage of the video, noted that ideological education in North Korea has intensified. Previously, minors who violated the law in such manners were not incarcerated but were sent to labor reeducation centers, typically for sentences under five years. However, the situation shifted following North Korea’s enactment of a law in 2020 that stipulated execution as a potential punishment for viewing or distributing South Korean content.
Choi Kyung Hee, the representative of the Sand Research Institute who supplied the video, disclosed that North Korea perceives the proliferation of South Korean content within its borders as a threat to its ideological fabric. Representative Choi further explained that admiration for South Korean society could potentially undermine the existing system, clashing with the uniform ideology that instills respect for the Kim family among North Korean citizens.