[The Independent] Watching porn in North Korea could get you executed, new report reveals

26 Jan 2023

The Independent reports on North Korea’s secret police conducting crackdowns on foreign influences. In its article, the Independent refers to NKDB’s latest findings on the 'Non-socialist Groups,' one of the North Korean regime's surveillance institutions that the international community was unaware of. NKDB’s report, North Korea's 'Non-socialist Group': Inspections, Crackdowns and Human Rights Violations in a Panoptic Society, was cited in the Independent's article as follows.

The study, by the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB), reveals details of how secret squads, known as “Grouppa” or “non-socialist groups” circulate within the North Korean community to crack down on foreign influences, including hairstyles and even birthday parties. Other serious offences include absence from work, “behaving in a vulgar and clueless manner” and “distorting our country’s songs or dancing in a way that is not our country’s style”, according to North Korean law.

It is also a crime to dye your hair, listen to South Korean music and dress in a “capitalist” way. And woe betide anyone who uses the wrong kind of font...

One defector told the NKBD, first, the Grouppa “check how you dress, then what type of music you listen to."

“You cannot have a birthday party as a group," they continued. "They keep saying not to have gatherings and drink alcohol because when people are drunk, they will end up singing one or two South Korean songs for sure.”

They added: “Selling tofu, alcohol, snacks and dessert [is] also illegal because it is a waste of national food resources, and it does not fit with socialist principles.”One former informant detailed how the Grouppa undertakes house searches of suspected law-breakers, explaining that they cut off the electricity supply to the building so that if the occupant has been watching a prohibited DVD or videotape, “they can’t take it out of the player”.

“We turn the electricity back on and take out the tape,” they said. “Then they are caught in the act. If there are three or four people caught, they will be interrogated one by one.”

Read the full article on the Independent' website HERE