Boys sentenced for listening to pop music – level 3

24-01-2024 07:00

North Korean authorities publicly sentenced two 16-year-olds to 12 years of hard labor for watching K-pop, as revealed in video footage released by the South and North Development (SAND) Institute, an organization working with North Korean defectors.

The footage, though unverified independently, displays the teenagers in Pyongyang convicted of consuming South Korean movies and music videos. North Korea, enforcing stringent measures against exposure to South Korean entertainment, intensified restrictions with a 2020 ‘anti-reactionary thought’ law.

The harsh punishment aims to deter similar behavior and indicates the perceived influence of South Korean culture in North Korean society. SAND President Choi Kyong-hui, a North Korean defector, suggests the video serves as a warning and highlights efforts by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to revert the youth’s mindset to traditional North Korean values.

Difficult words: stringent (strict, precise), defector (a person who leaves their country or political party and joins an opposing one), revert (return to a previous state, topic, etc.).

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What do recent developments in North Korea, such as the public sentencing of two teenagers for watching K-pop and the enforcement of an 'anti-reactionary thought' law, reveal about the government's control over its citizens and the influence of South Korean culture?


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