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N. Korea confiscating 'notels' to stop spread of lewd videos of leader

2016/08/23 17:40

SEOUL, Aug. 23 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is confiscating portable media players called "notels" for fear they have helped spread scandalous videos of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a U.S.-based media report said Tuesday, citing sources in the North.

A notel, a North Korean word that combines notebook and television, is used to watch DVDs or content stored on USB memory sticks that can be easily smuggled into the country and passed around.

The source from the reclusive country's South Hamgyong Province told Radio Free Asia (RFA) that the Pyongyang regime is confiscating notels used by students for educational purposes.

According to the source, North Korean authorities have cracked down on notels after videos of the Wangjaesan Art Troupe showing topless women dancing before North Korean leader Kim Jung-un spread around the country.

"The North Korean authorities carried out the crackdown as the secret and lewd images rapidly spread among ordinary North Korean residents," the source told RFA.

Traditionally, North Korea has waged a campaign to establish high moral standards among its people, particularly younger generations, so that the "decadent bourgeois lifestyle" of imperialists would not make headway in North Korean society.

Recent reports have claimed that nearly half of all urban North Korean households own a notel device.

Another source in North Korea also said the media player is making it much easier for some North Korean citizens to circumvent the nation's rampant censorship.

The most popular content includes South Korean soap operas, pop music, news programs and Hollywood films, according to North Korean defectors and activists.

Also, South Korean-style English study programs have become a general trend, the source said, adding that English conversation lectures are gaining popularity.