The senior officials in North Korea revealed that some 70 percent of the country's 25 million people actively watch TV shows, dramas, and movies from the South, sources in the North told RFA. However, the video lectures had exposed footage of people being arrested and interrogated by the police for speaking or writing in the South Korean style.
According to the source, dozens of men and women had their heads shaved and they were shackled as investigators interrogated them. While the South Korean pop culture is being popularized in North Korea, many of the younger generations have been getting punished from imitating and mimicking south Korean's facial expressions and pronunciations.
Nevertheless, the source said, punishments may become even more severe than what the video depicted. "Authorities again strongly ordered Pyongyang and other urban areas across the country to severely punish those who imitate the South Korean language," the official, who declined to be named, told RFA.
According to RFA's translation, the North Korean authorities revised the Criminal Law in 2015, raising the maximum sentence to 10 years in prison for "capitalist cultural invasion," a vague term that refers to watching or listening to media from outside North Korea.
"They found that surprisingly many teenagers were imitating South Korean speaking styles and expressions," the official said.
"In May, a total of 70 young people were arrested after the two-month crackdown by the Pyongyang police, which came as the Highest Dignity issued an order to 'strongly wage a struggle against a culture of unusual thought'," the official said, using an honorific term to refer to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
"More than 70 percent said they believed that it became more dangerous to access foreign media since Kim Jong Un took power in 2011."