North Korean teens sentenced for 12 years of hard labour for watching K-pop | World News - Hindustan Times
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North Korean teens sentenced for 12 years of hard labour for watching K-pop

Jan 19, 2024 10:38 PM IST

NORTHKOREA-STUDENTS/SENTENCING (TV):North Korea teens get 12 years' hard labour for watching K-pop - video

North Korean authorities were seen publicly sentencing two teenagers to 12 years' hard labour for watching K-pop in a video footage released by an organisation that works with North Korean defectors, BBC reported. The footage showed two 16-year-olds in Pyongyang convicted of watching South Korean movies and music videos. It was released by the South and North Development (SAND) Institute.

Video footage showed North Korean authorities publicly sentencing two teenagers.
Video footage showed North Korean authorities publicly sentencing two teenagers.

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What does the video show?

In the video, a large public trial is being held in which two students in grey scrubs are handcuffed while watched by about 1,000 students in an amphitheatre. All the students are wearing face masks. As per the video, the students were sentenced after being convicted of watching and spreading South Korean content over three months. "They were seduced by foreign culture... and ended up ruining their lives," the narrator states.

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Has this happened before?

North Korea has imposed tough sentences on anyone caught enjoying South Korean entertainment earlier as well.

What an expert said on the video?

Choi Kyong-hui, president of SAND and Doctor of Political Science at Tokyo University, who defected from North Korea in 2001, said, “Judging from the heavy punishment, it seems that this is to be shown to people across North Korea to warn them. If so, it appears this lifestyle of South Korean culture is prevalent in North Korean society.”

“I think this video was edited around 2022... What is troublesome for (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un is that Millennials and Gen Z young people have changed their way of thinking. I think he's working on turning it back to the North Korean way,” Choi Kyong-hui said.

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