1,200 N.Koreans 'jailed for watching S.Korean films'

Discussion in 'Asia' started by xomputer, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. xomputer

    xomputer BANNED

    Dec 9, 2008
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    More than 1,000 North Koreans have been jailed for secretly watching South Korean TV shows and films as the communist regime battles an inflow of foreign culture, a Seoul-based defector group said Monday.

    North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity said some 1,200 people are in jail in the northwestern city of Kaechon for the offence. It cited a source in the prison, which has a total of 3,000 inmates.

    Access to foreign pop culture is strictly banned for ordinary people in the isolated nation, with violators facing hefty fines or jail terms.

    But a growing stream of pirated DVDs and music CDs smuggled from China, the North's neighbour and major trade partner, has made the capitalist South's pop culture increasingly popular, the group said on its website.

    "The prison official said it was the first time the number of people jailed solely for watching the South's TV dramas has gone over 1,000... now the prison is overcrowded with such prisoners," the group said.

    The group, citing another source in the North, said Pyongyang created a special police unit in January to crack down on those with "rotten spirit".

    Those who are caught are usually jailed for between two and five years and face harsher treatment in prison than other offenders, it said.

    News reports and North Korean defectors have said even the reclusive and tightly controlled North could not escape Hallyu -- the Korean Wave -- a reference to the surging popularity of South Korean pop culture in Asia.

    Pyongyang launched a crackdown on women emulating the looks and hairstyles of popular South Korean actresses, calling it "the South's delinquent look," the Seoul-based Daily NK online newspaper reported last month.
  2. Baruch Menachem

    Baruch Menachem '

    Sep 12, 2008
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    Well, SKorean drama would get the thumbs down here in the US if it were regularly broadcast. They do a lot of really dicey material.

    But the big problem is showing the average korean living quite high, compared to a North Korean. (Compared to US values, 80% of the place is in poverty, and normal wages are about 3.50 and hour for a 50 hour work week. Compared to North Korea, the whole place lives in Levantine luxury.)

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