Squid Game might be a sensation all over the world, but having a copy in North Korea can apparently get you into a lot of trouble. In fact, a North Korean man has reportedly been sentenced to death over his alleged smuggling of copies of the hit Netflix series into the country, in violation of a recently pass law regarding the “Elimination of Reactionary Thought and Culture.”
According to Radio Free Asia the supposed smuggler “brought a copy of Squid Game into North Korea back from China and sold USB flash drives containing the series” to a group of students. He wasn’t the only one severely punished in the case either, with one student who allegedly watched the show receiving a life sentence, “while six others who watched the show have been sentenced to five years hard labor.” Even some of the teachers and administrators at the school the students attended “have been fired and face banishment to work in remote mines.” All for watching a television show.
The recent South Korean series was created by Hwang Dong-hyuk, and quickly became Netflix’s most-watched show in history. According to the site, it’s still among the top 10 most-watched shows on the service in 82 countries around the world, including the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Egypt, South Africa, Japan, and South Korea. Radio Free Asia claims the show and its tale of desperate people playing a series of life-or-death games for a massive cash prize “resonates with North Koreans in risky occupations and insecure positions.” Given that the convicted smuggler in the case will reportedly be sentenced to death by firing squad, we can sort of see why.