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Watching porn in North Korea could get you executed, new report reveals

Donald Trump shows 'love letters' exchanged with Kim Jong-Un to legendary journalist …

NHS workers are striking, food prices are rising, and people are having to ration their energy use – times are tough, that’s for sure.

But we can all be grateful we don’t live in North Korea, where you can’t so much as sing without facing punishment.

Testimony provided by 32 escapees from the despotic regime, published in a new report, has shed further light on day-to-day life under that crazed “rocket man” Kim Jong Un.

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.

Citizens found watching pornography – considered one of the most serious crimes – face death by firing squad.

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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.”

According to a number of testimonies, sexual content receives the harshest level of punishment among “illegal media”, with punishments ranging from time in the country’s notoriously harsh labour camps, detention in a political prison camp, or the death penalty.

And so we repeat: whatever’s going on, just be grateful you’re not in North Korea.

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