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Two Sariwon teenagers publicly tried for distributing S. Korean songs, photos

Two teenage boys in Sariwon were recently sentenced in a public trial on charges of distributing South Korean songs and photos, Daily NK has learned.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source in North Hwanghae Province told the Daily NK on Wednesday that two high school boys in Sariwon’s Mangum district were publicly tried on May 23 for “inciting the corrupt and depraved spirit of capitalism by distributing songs and photos of the puppet state [South Korea].” One of the boys was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor and the other to life imprisonment.

The trial was held in a conference room at the Sariwon court and was attended by the heads of all the neighborhood watch units in the Mangum area, as well as school staff and ordinary citizens.

The two boys had often played songs and videos of South Korean idol singers on USB flash drives without their parents’ knowledge. They were so obsessed with the songs that they sang the tunes and performed the dances at school.

Even when they were not in school, the two boys carelessly sang South Korean songs and performed dances in the presence of people from their neighborhood watch group. Their behavior rubbed off on other teenagers in their neighborhood when they were reported by a state security informant and put on trial.

“This public trial was held with the purpose of sounding an alarm for all of Sariwon. While the public’s attention was focused on the trial, the authorities denounced the two boys for their treacherous affection for the ‘puppet state,’ knowing full well that South Korea is an enemy state and not the same nation as North Korea. The authorities concluded by saying that the two boys can’t be allowed to live in the same society as other North Koreans,” the source said.

The mothers of the two boys were also brought in and kept their heads bowed throughout the trial. When their sentences were read, the mothers let out terrible screams and fainted on the spot.

“Those attending the trial had assumed that the defendants, being teenage boys, would receive at most a few years in juvenile detention, so they were stunned by the harsh sentences handed down at the end of the trial. Many were confused as to why the boys had to be punished so harshly when it wasn’t as if they had killed anyone, and lamented that the world is gradually becoming more brutal,” the source said.

Daily NK works with a network of sources living in North Korea, China, and elsewhere. Their identities remain anonymous for security reasons. For more information about Daily NK’s network of reporting partners and information-gathering activities, please visit our FAQ page here.

Please send any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.

Read in Korean

June 03, 2024 at 11:30AM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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