It’s abnormal for the Hermit Kingdom to express any sort of opinion about entertainment produced outside its walls and k-dramas are actually forbidden inside for North Koreans.
However, one state-run website thought it was the perfect moment to lob a bit of propaganda banter at its southern neighbour and rival.
An article published North Korean propaganda site Arirang Meari said: “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.
“The series discloses the reality of South Korea where the law of the jungle, corruption, and immorality are commonplace.
“It is said to arouse anger about the unequal society where the moneyless are treated like chess pieces for the rich.”
The highly viral TV show is about how hundreds of debt-ridden Koreans are recruited to play a series of games that will make them rich beyond their wildest imaginations.
Little do they know, the cost of losing one of the six classic South Korean childhood games is their life.
The show touches on the wealth and education gap in the country and how some people are genuinely driven to do horrible things to lift themselves out of poverty.
While the author-less article from North Korea isn’t wrong in its assessment of Squid Game, it’s a very big ‘pot calling the kettle black’ argument.
The Hermit Kingdom is well known for its oppressive regime and defectors have shed light on the brutal and horrific conditions of living there.
Human Rights Watch has accused the country of committing violations ‘amounting to crimes against humanity, including extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, rape, and forced abortions’.
“North Korea operates secret prison camps where presumed government opponents face torture, forced labor, and starvation,” the organisation stated.
“In 2020, the government invoked Covid-19 to put in place extreme and unnecessary measures that further isolated the country, blocking information into and out the country, closing its border with China, and harshly controlling food and product distribution.”
So it’s highly hypocritical for a country to be slagging off a fictional TV show for representing South Korea’s ‘sad’ reality when they stand accused of doing something arguably far worse in the real world.