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TV CRITIC'S CORNER

N. Korea is deadly serious about ‘Squid Game’ ban

The Netflix television series "Squid Game."Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

This story is haunting. According to Radio Free Asia, a man has been sentenced to death by firing squad in North Korea for smuggling in and selling copies of Netflix’s “Squid Game” on USB flash drives. The authorities found the man after busting seven high school students who were watching the hit show, which is about people in debt playing survival games.

According to Radio Free Asia’s source, the student who bought a drive got a life sentence, and the six others who watched the show got five years of hard labor. Also, teachers and administrators at the high school have been fired and face banishment because it happened on their watch.

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North Korean officials clearly do not like the dystopian drama from South Korea, which is illegal under the “Elimination of Reactionary Thought and Culture” law.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.