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The Times: North Korea criminalizes reading about its leader’s assassinated enemies

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The Times reported that North Korea has made it a crime to read news about people who have been purged or executed by the regime of its supreme leader Kim Jong Un.

In a move that the newspaper saw as reminiscent of the story “1984”, a novel by George Orwell published in 1949 as a work of political fiction and science fiction about the corrupt city. .

The newspaper pointed out that the Reactionary Ideology and Rejection of Culture Act – which was introduced 11 months ago – bans books, music, films, television and even slang from South Korea in an attempt to eliminate the growing influence of Pyongyang’s wealthy and democratic neighbor.

Now researchers have found that the law also bans North Korean reports that have since been rewritten or removed to exclude individuals offensive or embarrassing to the government from history.

The law imposes harsh penalties on those caught watching, listening to, or simply possessing South Korean films, recordings, publications, books, songs, drawings, or photos.

The British newspaper reported that copies of the unpublished law had been leaked to dissidents in Seoul. In addition to pornography and “superstitious” material such as Bibles, the law criminalizes the distribution and display of material that has been “nationally suspended”.

The Times suggested that in 2013, Chang Sung-thik, a close aide to Kim and his uncle by marriage, was executed after he “confessed” to crimes that included plotting a coup, publishing pornographic materials, not clapping enthusiastically, and causing a monument to honor Kim “in a shaded corner”.

Within hours, the Rodong Sinmun (Workers’ Newspaper) and the Urimenzokiri online portal had removed nearly all articles mentioning him, and he had been excluded from television reports.

The law also imposes harsh penalties on those caught watching, listening to, or simply possessing “South Korean films, recordings, publications, books, songs, drawings, or photos.” Even singing a South Korean song or typing a text in South Korean script can be punished with hard labor for two years. Traffickers in such contraband can be executed or sentenced to life imprisonment.

The newspaper commented that the authorities appeared to have used the crackdown on crossing points during the epidemic to stifle smuggling, as this material was flowing easily across the porous land border with China.

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Reference-www.aljazeera.net

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