“Korean Dramas Regulated, 109 Groups Dispatched”

[imText1]Since last year, North Korean authorities have been attempting to cut off all kinds of capitalist culture. Hence, another extensive hunt for Korean videos and radio broadcasts continues on.

North Korean authorities formed “109 Inspection Team” consisting of authority officials, inspectors from the National Safety Agency and Social Safety Agency, who have been focusing on regulating the major cities for watching and selling foreign VCDs. As of this year, the regions for inspection has extended to the provinces, an inside source informed. The regulations seem to have become an annual event.

The source from North Korea said “About 50 people who were caught watching foreign videos in the district of Woonsan, North Pyongan and now are being investigated” and “The preliminary hearing for about 10 people with no connections or who could not offer bribes, also the people found to be directly circulating the videos has ended and are now waiting a sentence.”

During the 80’s, video tapes were controlled by intercepting with electricity and any family found with videos in their video players were individually restrained. However, many families with video players also had chargers and so this method was ineffective. Now inspector groups consisting of 10~20 people have search warrants to thoroughly check all parts of the home.

The source said “The people sentenced will probably get sent to the labor training corps but of these repeaters if any person has issues with ideologies or are condemned as responsible for selling the videos, then they will be sentenced to jail.” The source added “People who are sentenced to jail because of videos are normally imprisoned for 4~5 years, but many are released after 2~3 years on special occasions like Feb 16th (Kim Jong Il’s birthday) or April 15th (Kim Il Sung’s birthday).”

On a different note, the latest issue of Democratic Chosun (issued on January 13), the government paper, obtained on the 20th stated “Imperial activists are sticking to us from within until death in order to sow the seeds of capitalist” and ordered a firm response “We must stick to them (capitalists) and austerely cut them off.”

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