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North Korean teen sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for consuming K-pop music

A video released by a group that works with North Korean defectors shows how North Korean authorities publicly sentenced two teenagers to 12 years of hard labor for watching K-pop music.

The images show two 16-year-old girls who were sentenced in Pyongyang for watching South Korean films and music videos. North-South Development Institute (SAND).

Reuters The images, which could not be independently verified and were first published by British Broadcasting Corporation.

Since imposing new crushing penalties in 2020, North Korea has for years imposed harsh penalties on anyone caught enjoying South Korean entertainment or imitating the way South Koreans speak, in a war against outside influence. The Law of “Counter-Reactionary Thought”.

Photo: Wevers BTS

“Judging from the punishment, it seems like this They want to show the whole North Korean people what’s going on, warn them. “If so, then this lifestyle of Korean culture seems to be common in North Korean society,” he said. Choi Kyung-heeChairman of SAND, PhD in political science from the University of Tokyo, defected from North Korea in 2001.

“I think this video was edited around 2022 (…) The problem[North Korean leader]Kim Jong Un faces is that the youth of North Korea Millennials and Gen Z have changed the way they think. “I think he’s trying to get them back on track with North Korea.”

The video, produced by North Korean authorities, shows a large public trial in which schoolgirls in gray robes are handcuffed in an open-air theater as about 1,000 students watch. All students, including two 16-year-olds, were wearing masks, suggesting the video was recorded during the coronavirus pandemic.

The students were found guilty and sentenced for watching and playing Korean movies, music and music videos for three months, the video showed.

They allow themselves to be seduced by foreign cultures (…) and ultimately ruin their lives” the narrator says, while the video shows young handcuffed women and women from Pyongyang wearing Korean fashions and hairstyles.

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