A North Korean propaganda site says 'Squid Game' reflects the South's 'beastly' capitalist society where 'corruption and immoral scoundrels are commonplace'

A North Korean propaganda site says 'Squid Game' reflects the South's 'beastly' capitalist society where 'corruption and immoral scoundrels are commonplace'
·2 min read
squid game
A North Korean propaganda site seized upon the brutal scenes in Netflix drama "Squid Game" to post a criticism of South Korea's "beastly" capitalist society. Netflix
  • A North Korean propaganda website lauded "Squid Game" for showing how the South is where "corruption and immoral scoundrels are commonplace."

  • The publication added that the drama showed the "sad reality of the beastly South Korean society."

  • Last year, the North also praised Oscar-winning "Parasite," calling it a masterpiece that exposed the South's rich-poor divide.

A state-run North Korean propaganda website praised Netflix's "Squid Game," saying the Netflix drama highlighted how South Korea is where "corruption and immoral scoundrels are commonplace."

The Arirang Meari website published an article on the Korean-language Netflix drama on October 12, writing that the show reflected "the reality of capitalist society," an "unequal society where people are treated like chess pieces."

"Squid Game" premiered on Netflix on September 17 and skyrocketed to the top of the streaming platform, garnering more than 111 million views in its first month. The drama tells the story of 456 South Koreans in desperate financial straits who opt into playing deadly challenges modeled after children's games in an attempt to claim a prize of $38 million.

"'Squid Game' makes people realize the sad reality of the beastly South Korean society in which human beings are driven into extreme competition, and their humanity is wiped out," read the Arirang Meari article, penned by an unnamed author.

The North's praise of the drama, however, overlooks the fact that "Squid Game" features the tragic story of Kang Sae-byeok, a North Korean defector who goes to extreme lengths to guarantee a better future for herself and the surviving members of her family.

Reuters reported last February that several North Korean media outlets commended Academy Award-winning South Korean film "Parasite," lauding the movie for exposing the reality of the rich-poor gap in South Korea.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called South Korean pop culture a "vicious cancer" and imposed a strict blanket ban on Korean dramas and K-Pop music in the North. Those caught indulging in pop culture products face heavy penalties like hard labor and jail terms. The North has also criticized the K-Pop industry, accusing it of "slave-like exploitation."

In response, the South has on occasion blasted K-Pop across the border, including pop songs like "Bang Bang Bang," a track from YG Entertainment boy band Big Bang.

While North Korea continues to point out the downsides of living in the South, its population is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic and a severe food shortage. Kim's regime is also known for issuing shoot-to-kill orders for North Koreans who try to escape the country by making illegal border crossings.

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