North Korean authorities have allegedly executed two minors for the crime of watching and distributing South Korean films, according to a report on Friday.
Sources who witnessed the alleged executions in October told Radio Free Asia that the boys were 16 and 17 years old.
A resident told the Korean broadcaster’s service that he was told “those who watch or distribute South Korean films and dramas, and those who disrupt social order by killing other people, will not be pardoned and will be sentenced to the maximum death penalty.” .
Residents of Hyesan, where the executions allegedly took place, gathered in groups to watch the authorities present the boys in front of the public, sentence them to death and shoot them, the source said.
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Authorities reportedly warned weeks before the executions that those distributing foreign media would face harsh punishments.
A human rights group reported last year that North Korea has executed at least seven people over the past decade for watching or distributing K-pop videos.
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The year before, North Korean authorities announced that anyone in possession of South Korean media or artwork would face up to 15 tears in prison under a new law on anti-reactionary thoughts.
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In August 2021, several teenagers caught watching the South Korean drama “Crash Landing on You” were sentenced to prison terms, according to Daily NK, a Seoul-based publication that focuses on North Korean news.