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North Korean Teen Sentenced To 14 Years In Jail For Watching Five Minutes Of Film

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North Korean Teen Sentenced To 14 Years In Jail For Watching Five Minutes Of Film

A teenager in North Korea has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for watching just five minutes of a film, local publication Daily NK reports.

A 14-year-old student from Yanggang Province was sentenced to 14 years hard labour for watching five minutes of South Korean movie The Uncle.

A source told Daily NK the teen was arrested within five minutes of watching the movie.

They said today (30 November): “On the 7th, a 14-year-old student from Hyesan City's Elementary and Middle School (our middle school) was arrested while watching the South Korean movie The Uncle.

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“They were arrested within five minutes of watching the movie, and they were sentenced to 14 years of hard labour.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Credit: Alamy
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Credit: Alamy

The shocking punishment is not all that unusual in the country, which has a ban on cultural materials from 'hostile countries' such as South Korea and the US being consumed or imported.

In legal material obtained by Daily NK, the punishment for those ‘who have directly seen, listened to, or kept South Korean films, recordings, compilations, books, songs, paintings, and photos for more than five years and less than 15 years’ is set as ‘correctional labour’.

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Citizens of the hermit nation can even be punished for something as innocuous as their fashion choices.

North Korean leader Kim Jon-un reportedly wants to stop people copying his style after he and other dignitaries were spotted wearing leather coats and sent demand for the garments skyrocketing.

An anonymous source told Radio Free Asia: "As leather coats began to be recognised as a symbol of power, private clothing merchants asked trading company officials to import synthetic leather since September of this year.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy
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"They copied the design of the leather coats worn by the Highest Dignity and the officials and now they are being sold in the marketplace."

The citizen said that police officers in Pyongsong recently started a crackdown on people selling the jackets, as well as demanding them from people who are wearing them.

Apparently, they’re quite literally taking the clothes of someone’s back.

The authorities have – the source claimed – described the leather coat trend as an ‘impure trend to challenge the authority of the Highest Dignity’.

Featured Image Credit: Jin Film

Topics: World News

Simon Fearn
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