It’s unsurprising that everyone around the world would want a chance to watch a mega-hit like Squid Game, even in North Korea. While it tends to be common knowledge, watching foreign films in North Korea can be a serious legal offense that has led to stunts like activist Park Sang-hak balloon dropping 100,000 copies of The Interview on the country back in 2014.
However, when Radio Free Asia reported that someone who had smuggled Squid Game into the country had been executed for the offense, many across the internet raised eyebrows. While foreign media may be banned, it has been praised in North Korea both as a criticism of South Korea and for exposing capitalist misery. So why would such a harsh penalty be dealt out?
The internet collectively began to roll its eyes as details on the stories emerged, with one user pointing out that an “unnamed individual Source” wasn’t much to go off of.
Many were pointing to the fact that Radio Free Asia is actually funded by the U.S. Government. In fact, it was originally established back in 1994 with the goal of countering narratives of the Chinese Communist Party as well as reporting about the North Korean government.
One journalist went so far as to call the group “a US government propaganda weapon created by the CIA” when discussing the story on Twitter. He also tweeted proof from a New York Times article he claimed supported his statement.
Another user had the same focus, commenting with much sarcasm that, “I’m sure radio free asia, an avowed arm of the US department of state, would have no reason to report falsehoods about this.”
One user even went so far as to suggest those who work for Radio Free Asia should have to play through something like Squid Game themselves.
What do you think of the story? Did someone really get executed in North Korea over Squid Game or is Radio Free Asia not a reliable source? Let’s talk about it in the comments.