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North Korea clamps down on foreign influence


North Korea clamps down on foreign influence
Kim Jong-Un has referred to foreign speech, hairstyles and clothes as "dangerous poisons". (EPA)

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North Korea has recently introduced a sweeping new law which seeks to stamp out any kind of foreign influence – harshly punishing anyone caught with foreign films, clothing or even using slang. But why?

Yoon Mi-so says she was 11 when she first saw a man executed for being caught with a South Korean drama.

His entire neighbourhood was ordered to watch.

“If you didn’t, it would be classed as treason,” she told the BBC from her home in Seoul.

The North Korean guards were making sure everyone knew the penalty for smuggling illicit videos was death.

“I have a strong memory of the man who was blindfolded, I can still see his tears flow down. That was traumatic for me. The blindfold was completely drenched in his tears.

“They put him on a stake and bound him, then shot him.”

‘A war without weapons’

Imagine being in a constant state of lockdown with no internet, no social media and only a few state controlled television channels designed to tell you what the country’s leaders want you to hear – this is life in North Korea.

And now its leader Kim Jong-Un has clamped down further, introducing a sweeping new law against what the regime describes as “reactionary thought”.

Anyone caught with large amounts of media from South Korea, the United States or Japan now faces the death penalty. Those caught watching face prison camp for 15 years.

And it’s not just about what people watch.

Recently, Kim wrote a letter in state media calling on the country’s Youth League to crack down on “unsavoury, individualistic, anti-socialist behaviour” among young people. He wants to stop foreign speech, hairstyles and clothes which he described as “dangerous poisons”. (BBC)