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10,000 North Koreans Allegedly Surrender Themselves To Authorities For Watching K-Drama

This is following the 'anti-reactionary thought' law that was imposed by North Korea four months ago.

Cover image via TODAYonline & AFP/South China Morning Post

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10,000 North Korean students have turned themselves in to authorities for watching K-dramas and movies, as well as listening to K-pop music

This is in line with the 'anti-reactionary thought' law that was imposed by the hermit country in December 2020.

Singapore news portal TODAYonline stated that the number of students turning themselves in was updated on 28 April.

Around 5,000 DVD players were also allegedly turned over to the government in return for a lighter sentence.

Image used for illustration purposes only.

Image via Voice Of America

The 'anti-reactionary thought' law is said to be North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's initiative to boost the standard of homegrown and state-owned media, reported TODAYonline

According to Daily NK, the law adopted by the North Korean government four months ago "comprehensively strengthens controls on not only the entry and distribution of outside information such as news and foreign cultural materials, but also the outflow of internal information such as propaganda materials idolising the regime".

The law bans a wide range of foreign media consumptions, such as listening to, recording, or distributing foreign radio broadcasts.

It also covers acts of importing and distributing foreign recordings which are considered "impure". Video content, books, or other published material all fall under the scope of the law, Daily NK added.

This also includes copying or distributing music unapproved by the state, which includes K-pop.

TODAYonline reported that the country's supreme leader purportedly dislikes the usage of the term 'oppa' — which means 'big brother' — when referring to non-relatives, like how South Koreans have been doing out of habit.

This also applies to the term 'dongsaeng' which translates to 'younger brother' or 'younger sister'.

Famous South Korean dramas such as 'Crash Landing On You', 'Itaewon Class', and 'Hospital Playlist'.

Image via Netflix/Korea Travel Post

Those who have broken the law will be sentenced to a 15-year term in forced labour camps

TODAYonline also reported that parents of the child who has violated the law will have to pay a fine.

Those who are caught importing banned material from South Korea could face life imprisonment.

Meanwhile, those who import similar media items from the US or Japan could be sentenced to death.

The law is allegedly a response to the growing interest amongst North Koreans in South Korean television programmes and films in the wake of the closure of the Sino-North Korean Border, reported Daily NK.

The dramatic escape of a North Korean soldier who defected to South Korea was caught on video a few years back:

A Malaysian previously documented their travels in North Korea: