You know you’re a big show when even North Korea is obsessed with you: the elusive state’s propaganda machine has been firing on all cylinders, using Squid Game for its own gain.
Everyone has an opinion on the huge Netflix hit (we gave our view on a potential season 2) and North Korea is clearly no different. As per The Washington Post, a North Korean-state-run website has used Squid Game as a tool to dismiss their Southern neighbours as a terrible place, saying that the show reflects an “unequal society where the strong exploit the weak.”
I mean, they’re technically not wrong. Squid Game features a survival competition for debt-ridden contestants, fighting it out to the death to earn a cash prize that could turn their lives around.
Much has been made of its anti-capitalist undertones. The fact that it’s now the most-watched launch in Netflix’s history shows that its tale of economic woes is relating to this generation.
Squid Game actually features a North Korean character, a young defector who moved South in search of a better life which – spoiler alert – she doesn’t find. The character is presumably well-liked by North Korean viewers.
What about K-pop though, I hear you ask. Surely North Korea doesn’t mind getting down to a bit of BTS? Considering that Kim Jong-un recently called the music genre “a vicious cancer”, I highly doubt it.
As reported by The New York Times, the country’s leader accused it of corrupting the “hairstyles, speeches, and behaviours” of North Koreans.
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The Korean War ended all the way back in 1953 but the two have maintained frosty relations since. The North has long criticised their Southern neighbour’s capitalist system but life in the North features widespread poverty and food shortages.