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They Got Hard Labor in a North Korean Prison. Their Crime? Watching K-Dramas

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

New video footage from North Korea shows two teenagers in gray prison jumpsuits sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for the crime of watching South Korean TV dramas, an unusual peek into the secretive state ruled by Kim Jong Un. The teenagers get a public shaming in the video; they’re handcuffed and chastised by two uniformed officers in a stadium full of people. The video, which was provided by a think tank that works with defectors, is rare in a country which tightly controls what its residents may share with foreigners and what international visitors may see, let alone photograph. North Korea has a policy of punishing citizens, including imprisoning them for long periods, for interacting with any form of South Korean culture. South Korea recently reported that the number of defectors from its northern neighbor nearly tripled in 2023.

Read it at NBC News

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