North Korea: Drama ban 'causes crime wave'

Jackie Chan
Image caption Is Jackie Chan having an influence on North Korean youths?

A ban on South Korean TV drama has inadvertently caused a crime wave among North Korean teenagers, according to reports.

Youngsters are instead watching Chinese films, many involving violence and stories of revenge, it seems. An increasing number of students then end up carrying knives and imitating "brutal acts" they've seen, according to the Seoul-based Daily NK. The website quotes a source in North Korea's Ryanggang province - close to the Chinese border - as saying: "Many people say they're scared to go out in the evening, and feel the number of attacks by young people is growing."

The trend culminated in the fatal stabbing of a discharged soldier, who'd got into a row with two drunken middle school students, the report says. The news site - which focuses on the secretive state - had previously reported students having their belongings searched by officers from Pyongyang's Ministry of People's Safety. And it's not just copycat violence that's said to be causing concern. Several middle school pupils in another border region - North Pyongan - went en masse to a sauna to re-enact a sex scene from a Chinese movie, the Daily NK reported in May.

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