Update: As this report has circulated online, foreign relation experts and netizens have cast doubt on its authenticity. The doubt stems from the RFA's ties to the United States and the CIA. In the past, the site has been accused of pushing unfounded propaganda about nations like South Korea, leading netizens to demand further confirmation on this RFA report to verify it.
In the last few months, Squid Game has become the Internet's new obsession, and audiences the world over have binged the cult hit. From South Korea to the United States and beyond, Squid Game is thriving, but some regions are not able to check out the show. And now, a new report suggests a North Korean citizen has been sentenced to death after smuggling the show into the country.
The report comes from RFA after sites like CNET and Kotaku covered the update. Radio Free Asia reported earlier this month that copies of Squid Game have made it into North Korea via USB drives and SD cards. This isn't too hard to believe as South Korea media is often brought into North Korea this way, but a new report suggests a student who bought one of the drive is now being sentenced to death.
In a new piece, the RFA sources say the anonymous student bought the USB drive and brought it to school to show friends. Now, the high schooler is apparently facing execution by firing squad while their six friends who watched Squid Game must serve five years of hard labor. As for their school's employees, a slew of teachers and admins have been fired and could be exiled too hard labor moving forward.
"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," RFA reports after speaking to a source in the North Hamgyong province. "The friend told several other students, who became interested, and they shared the flash drive with them."
If this report is true, it is a direct outcome of a recent law passed in North Korea regarding foreign media. The nation passed its Law on Elimination of Reactionary Thought and Culture last year which made owning or distributing capitalist media punishable by death. Any form of entertainment from South Korea is part of that contraband. The law was introduced after music and television from South Korea began permeating North Korea at impressive rates by way of nonprofit organizations. It was only a matter of time before Squid Game entered the isolated nation given its popularity, and the RFA reports "law enforcement is not playing around with this new law" as such.
Does this new report surprise you? Do you think Squid Game's social commentary is that controversial? Let us know in the comments down below.