Kim Jong Un’s new secret squad will shoot anyone caught watching $3x videos
Under the North Korean dictator’s efforts to clamp down on “foreign influences”, enforcers are working to stamp out foreign television, hair cuts and even birthday parties, according to testimony from a defector included in a new report.
“The groups operate as a hidden tool, which is used by the government to achieve their ultimate objectives of ubiquitous surveillance and the ability to thoroughly oversee each and every resident,” the report says.
Foreign media, particularly anything deemed to be “Western”, is strictly prohibited in North Korea. Any dissent is severely punished.
For some time now, any sign that someone may have been consuming media from the South has resulted in brutal consequences.
Citizens are being prosecuted for anything from defection, drug dealing, smuggling and begging, to being absent from work, traffic offences, adultery, dying one’s hair, religious practices and taking part in “decadent culture” – which can include parties.
“It is worse than the Kim Jong Il era,” one testimony quoted in the report said. “The border has become tighter, more barbed wire fences have been installed. Also, there were instructions to directly fire at any person crossing the border.
“[…] I’ve heard about people being shot for distributing impure cultural contents. There was one person who was executed for watching pornography and prostituting at his place after Kim Jong Un took office.”
“First they check how you dress. Then what type of music you listen to, what videos you watch, whether you have dyed your hair […] You cannot have a birthday party as a group,” the defector said, according to the report.
“They keep saying not to have gatherings and drink alcohol because when people are drunk, they will end up singing one or two South Korean songs for sure.”
Outlawed songs, movies and television shows such as “Squid Game” or “Crash Landing on You” are sometimes smuggled into the country on USB flash drives.
One of the methods used by the secret squads is to cut off power to the homes of people suspected of watching banned media, and therefore preventing them from removing DVDs of videotapes from the payer and hiding their “guilt”.
Punishments range from demotion at work, being fired, or even sent to a re-education or labour camp. In the most extreme cases – such as being found to have been watching pornography – people could be executed by firing squad.
“If you consume sexual media content in North Korea, you are either punished with a lifetime term of ‘reform through labour’ or even executed by firing squad. Watching typical South Korean or American material will lead to a sentence of fewer than ten years of ‘reform through labour,” according to another defector’s testimony.
Earlier this month, it was reported that four students were expelled from university and forced to work in a coal mine because they sounded as if they had been watching too much foreign TV, by using accents or phrases from the South. Continue reading