Public rally shames distributors of illegal foreign media in North Korea
A rare public rally held to shame those accused of watching or distributing illegal videos was held in Hyesan on February 3, North Korean sources in Ryanggang Province report.
The rally was attended by members of the Korean Socialist Women’s Alliance and the Korean Workers’ Alliance. Most adults in Hyesan (except farmers) attended the rally, with local authorities ordering all of them to watch the proceedings.
“The public rally was held on February 3 in front of the Kim Jong Suk Arts Theater,” said a Ryanggang Province-based source on February 12. “Those accused of watching the illegal videos totaled 17 people, including men and women in their 40s, university students in their 20s, and even a 14-year-old middle school student.”
“An official from the local prosecutors department announced that they had distributed ‘impure’ video content that sullied the Republic’s good manners and customs,” she continued.
“Impure video content” often refers to South Korean dramas and Hollywood movies. North Korea considers viewing such content to be an anti-socialist act. That the authorities also emphasized the accused having “distributed” the content suggests they are in more trouble for having spread the content than viewing it.
North Korea has long punished distributors of video content severely. The authorities are generally more lenient on first time offenders in exchange for bribes. The distribution of such content, however, is judged to be a more subversive act and creates suspicion that the distributor is trying to “agitate” others. ......