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Survey: North Korean residents still watch Korean dramas and movies under cultural lock-up

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Yonhap News Agency, Seoul, November 30. According to a survey released by the North Korean human rights group National Unification Broadcasting (UMG) and the online media Daily NK on the 30th, although North Korea strictly prevents foreign cultural inflows, most residents have still watched South Korean film and television works.

National Unification Broadcasting and Daily NK conducted a telephone survey of 50 North Korean residents this year. The results showed that 49 respondents answered in the affirmative to the question "Have you ever watched Korean and other foreign film and television works?" However, because the respondents responded to external media surveys, it can be seen that they may be different from other ordinary North Korean residents and have a positive attitude towards external culture.

When asked "what kind of film and television works to watch" (multiple choice), 96% answered Korean TV dramas and movies, followed by Chinese TV dramas and movies (84%), Korean performances (68%), Korean documentaries ( 40%), TV dramas and movies from the United States and other Western countries (24%). Regarding the frequency of watching foreign film and television works, 28% answered more than once a week, 46% said more than once a month, 20% said once every two or three months, and one respondent answered almost every day.

As for the channels for accessing foreign film and television works, 64% of the respondents answered "borrowing from relatives", 50% answered "borrowing from friends for free", and 22% answered "buying at local markets". Regarding the foreign information needed by North Korean residents (you can choose more than one), Korean cultural variety shows topped the list with 74%, followed by Korean news (72%), useful life information (68%), North Korea-related news (44%) ).

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When asked "What changes have occurred after watching Korean and other foreign film and television works", 79.2% answered "became curious about Korean society"; 56.3% answered "began to learn the way Koreans speak"; 39.6% answered "imitating Korean clothing style ".

It is reported that North Korea enacted the "Reactionary Ideological and Cultural Suppression Law" in December 2020, which stipulates that dissemination of South Korean videos will be punished with death, and viewers will be sentenced to a maximum of 15 years in prison. According to reports, North Korea has blocked its borders due to the epidemic, and communication between North Korea and China has been blocked, making it even more difficult to spread information in North Korea. On the other hand, the number of North Korean residents who know how to use computers has increased significantly in recent years, and storage devices such as micro SD cards have also become more popular. (Finish)

[Copyright belongs to Yonhap News Agency, unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited]

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