Why Watching Foreign Films Is Illegal In North Korea
Watching a movie or a film of your choice is a nice way of entertainment. However, North Koreans have limited access to foreign films and movies. The cinema of North Korea has faced a number of challenges from the totalitarian regime, for example, all film production is supervised by the workers’ party of Korea and is mainly concerned with propaganda. Below is a detailed explanation concerning films in North Korea.
a) Risk of Imprisonment
Citizens who are found in possession of foreign movie videos, especially Chinese ones, risk imprisonment or paying heavy fines. Recently, North Korea leader Kim Jong-un and his authorities increased the maximum punishment for watching foreign movies, videos, and drama to up to ten years behind bars. Previously the punishment was two years in jail but this increase of up to a decade is believed to be an attempt to scrap western influence within North Korea.
b) Watching Foreign Movies is Illegal in North Korea
Despite restrictions on watching foreign videos and movies from North Korea’s authorities, some people do it anyway. In North Korea, it is illegal for one to possess foreign films but people have found new means of acquiring and accessing these films.
The black market has made it easy and possible for individuals to acquire foreign media. Traders and smugglers use USB sticks and SD cards to ferry films in North Korea instead of DVDs.
c) North Korea Limits Its’ Citizens from Accessing Foreign Information
North Koreans have no right or access to foreign information. Such beliefs have made the people in power to deny the citizens their right to viewing or selling foreign media. It is dangerous for one to be caught watching a foreign movie or film in North Korea. If one is caught with foreign media, they risk punishment or having to bribe their way out of trouble.
Despite the efforts of the government to isolate the citizens from information, the people have found new but illegal means of accessing movies and films like burning DVDs into USB drives and SD cards.
d) The State Controls Distribution of Movies and Films
In North Korea, the government controls what the people watch as part of a bid to protect the nation from foreign influences. The government controls domestic media and access to foreign movies, books, radio, and television is limited. A state-owned video company called Mokran distributes only DVDs of Russian movies featuring the World War Two.
In any country, people will choose what they would like to watch and not what the government prefers. For example, some North Koreans may prefer to watch love stories and dramas but it is difficult.
e) Radio and TV
The North Korean Government modifies the radio distributed in the country so that they only tune to certain frequencies and especially government-operated stations. With such limitations, the demand for foreign content, videos and films are high thus the black market thrives. The North Koreans biggest threat is access to information.
In summary, the content above answers the question of why it is illegal to watch foreign films in North Korea. North Koreans have limited access to foreign movies and films.