Photo via KBS.
Two North Koreans who smuggled videos of South Korean television dramas were publicly executed on Sunday, according to Free North Korea Radio, a South Korean broadcast network run by defectors from the North.
The smugglers, a man and a woman, were charged with distributing South Korean dramas and pornography after transporting the illicit items in from China.
Residents of Hyesan, North Korea, were told to report by 11 a.m. local time to a nearby airfield, where they saw the execution by shooting, a source told FNKR. The report added that the State Security Department made the execution public to demonstrate the severe consequences of possessing videos of South Korean dramas which it considers an “anti-government activity.”
The North Korean government has been trying to uproot the smuggling of South Korean media for years now, but to no avail. The Hallyu wave, a term coined to describe the rapid growth of South Korean popular culture, is also widespread in the North, so much so that many North Koreans are now purchasing Chinese-made “portable TVs” to watch the videos that are mostly smuggled through China and distributed in USB drives.
“Even the government officials in North Korea admit that the country failed to block South Korean dramas from being smuggled into the country,” an anonymous source told KBS.