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 A North Korean man who smuggled and sold a copies of South Korean hit 'Netflix' series "Squid Game" has been sentenced to death by firing squad, according to a report.

Authorities caught seven high school students watching the violent drama which was shared the episodes of the series via USB flash drives from smuggler. 

Radio Free Asia report says, a student who bought a drive from the smuggler gets a life sentence after his parents reportedly paid $US3000, while the six others who watched the show have been sentenced to five years of hard labor.

Not only the students were punished but it was extended to the student's teachers and school administrator as they were fired and faced banishment to work in remote mines.

According to local sources, the smuggler brought a copy of the Netflix series into North Korea back from China.

"This all started last week when a high school student secretly bought a USB flash drive containing the South Korean drama Squid Game and watched it with one of his best friends in class," a law enforcement source in North Hamgyong province told RFA's Korean Service on Monday.

"The friend told several other students, who became interested, and they shared the flash drive with them. They were caught by censors in 109 Sangmu, who had received a tip-off," added the source, referring to the government strike force that specializes in catching illegal video watchers.

The arrest of the seven students marks the first time that the government is applying the newly passed law called the "Elimination of Reactionary Thought and Culture," in a case people under 18.

The law has maximum penalty including death for watching, keeping, or distributing media from capitalist countries.

Following the students' arrest, authorities are expanding their search to more memory storage devices that contain any foreign media in the region.

"The residents are all trembling in fear because they will be mercilessly punished for buying or selling memory storage devices, no matter how small," a North Hamgyong resident told RFA.

"But regardless of how strict the government's crackdown seems to be, rumors are circulating that among the seven arrested students, one with rich parents was able to avoid punishment because they bribed the authorities with $US3000."

"Residents are complaining that the world is unfair because if parents have money and power even their children who are sentenced to death can be released."

Squid Game has become Netflix's biggest series launch ever which recently earned 111 million views on the OTT platform.

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