A North Korean propaganda site published a scathing rebuke of South Korean society on Tuesday, pointing to the hugely popular Netflix series “Squid Game” as a reflection of the country’s capitalist culture.
The state-run website Arirang Meari published a post saying “Squid Game” showed the “sad reality of the beastly South Korean society.”
In “Squid Game,” hundreds of people who are deeply in debt are brought together to participate in a series of deadly children’s games, with one participant winning millions of dollars to wipe out their debt — while others are brutally killed. The show has quickly become Netflix’s number one show and gained a massive international audience, with fans recreating the games — without the killing — online.
“The reason why the TV drama ‘Squid Game’ became popular with viewers was because it dug into the reality of capitalist society and South Korea, where the extreme competition for survival and greed for the weak were rampant,” the site opined.
“For this reason, the audience who watched the TV drama is set in a South Korean society with severe economic inequality. It is the current South Korean society where the number of losers in fierce competition such as employment, real estate, and stocks increases dramatically,” it continued.
North Korea frequently criticizes South Korean media. As the South China Morning Post reported, a pro-North Korea propaganda site, DPRK Today, held up the Academy Award-winning South Korean film “Parasite” as an indication of what makes South Korean society inferior to North Korea.
Like “Squid Game,” Parasite focused on class inequality in South Korea, examining the stark social barriers to upward mobility in the country.
Arirang Meari also published a post earlier this year condemning K-pop as being a “slave-like exploitation” of performers. K-pop stars are known to undergo several years of grueling training and preparation before they debut, with record labels often taking complete control over their lives.