North Korea Exiles Over 100 To Remote Mountains: Report

Rice paddies in the North Korean countryside, viewed from a window of an North Korean Air Koryo flight from Beijing to Pyongy
Rice paddies in the North Korean countryside, viewed from a window of an North Korean Air Koryo flight from Beijing to Pyongyang, stand flooded during the planting season on Thursday, May 8, 2014. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

Watching a video filmed in a foreign country can get you banished in North Korea, as over a hundred people in the nation's capital have reportedly found out since March.

Citing a Pyongyang-based source, Seoul's Daily NK news site reports that "at least 100 Pyongyang citizens have been internally exiled to remote mountainous areas" after having been found guilty of possessing or viewing videos made in South Korea.

According to Daily NK's source, the move is part of a growing crackdown on outside media making its way into the country. Daily NK's source states that in its new push, the government formed a group specifically for the purpose of conducting house raids to root out any "illicit" materials.

North Korea is obviously no stranger to putting a stranglehold on foreign media sources, landing it at the bottom of Freedom House rankings year after year.

PBS notes that even though smuggled foreign shows and radios are regularly sold illegally in markets and traded among North Koreans, possessing foreign DVDs is punishable by execution in the country. The network explains that while foreign content is becoming more widely available -- often with the help of dissidents -- the government in Pyongyang has recognized the threat the works pose, and has intensified its crackdown.

This incident, however, seems to be an especially egregious one. Daily NK's source claims it is unprecedented to exile such a large amount of people in such a short time, a move that shows how much "authorities emphasize ideological purity" within the Hermit Kingdom.

In other news from North Korea today, Reuters reports Kim Jong Un's government issued a statement denying that it has been sending drones to spy on key installations in the South. North Korea's state news agency KCNA also took the opportunity to once again call South Korean Prime Minister Park Geun-Hye a "prostitute."

A spokesman for South Korea's defense minister responded to KCNA's statement in an unusually direct fashion by accusing Kim's government being consistent liars, noting the nation's lack of human rights, and incredulously asking "North Korea isn't a real country is it?"



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