Show reflects 'beastly' society in S. Korea: Pyongyang

SEOUL • A North Korean propaganda website yesterday said the international Netflix hit Squid Game exposes the reality of South Korean capitalist culture where "corruption and immoral scoundrels are commonplace".

North Korea's Arirang Meari site cited unnamed South Korean film critics as saying the TV series shows an "unequal society where moneyless people are treated like chess pieces for the rich".

Made in South Korea, the nine-part thriller, in which cash-strapped contestants play deadly childhood games in a bid to win 45.6 billion won (S$52 million), became a worldwide sensation for Netflix when it was released last month.

"It is said that it makes people realise the sad reality of the beastly South Korean society in which human beings are driven into extreme competition and their humanity is being wiped out," the article said.

North Korea has been imposing stiff fines or prison terms on anyone caught enjoying forms of entertainment from the South or copying the way South Koreans speak as leader Kim Jong Un steps up a war on outside influences and calls for better homegrown entertainment.

A sweeping new "anti-reactionary thought" law was imposed late last year, including up to 15 years in a prison camp for those caught with media from South Korea, according to summaries of the rules obtained by Daily NK, a Seoul-based website that reports from sources inside North Korea.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2021, with the headline 'Show reflects 'beastly' society in S. Korea: Pyongyang'. Subscribe