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North Korean fans of hit Netflix show Squid Game have been forced to smuggle copies of it into the country.
According to local sources speaking to foreign media, Pyongyang leaders are unhappy with the South Korean-produced show as it appears, to them, to be poking fun at their country.
They think, a source hinted, that a dystopian TV show that shows marginalised people fighting to the death to win a cash prize would “resonate” with the locals, RFA's Korean Service reports.
A Pyongyang resident told the outlet: “Squid Game has been able to enter the country on memory storage devices such as USB flash drives and SD cards, which are smuggled in by ship, and then make their way inland.
“They say that the content is similar to the lives of Pyongyang officials who fight in the foreign currency market as if it is a fight for life and death.
“They think the show’s plot kind of parallels their own reality, where they know they could be executed at any time if the government decides to make an example out of them for making too much money, but they all continue to make as much money as possible.
“It not only resonates with the rich people, but also with Pyongyang’s youth, because they are drawn to the unusually violent scenes.
“Also, one of the characters is a North Korean escapee and they can relate to her.
“They secretly watch the show under their blankets at night on their portable media players.”
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The source, who lives in North Pyongan province on the border with China, said that smugglers who bring goods in from China are the ones moving Squid Game contraband around- the ban pre-dates current leader Kim Jong-Un.
They added that smugglers are “immersed” in the show, too, because they feel as if the situation presented in it is similar to their own lives.
They said: “They risk their lives to smuggle things in from China despite enhanced border security during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Times are tough due to the pandemic, so even the police are struggling to make ends meet. Putting a few bucks in their pocket will make them go away if you get caught watching South Korean media. So that means more and more people here will watch Squid Game moving forward.”
- North Korea Dprk
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