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North Korea says ‘Harry Potter’ is a good example for kids

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  • Interest in author J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series has reportedly grown in North Korean, according a state-run newspaper there.
  • The series shows kids how to “develop their future by revealing their personal strengths and skills,” a North Korean newspaper claimed.
  • The success of “Harry Potter” in North Korea was attributed to its worldwide translation and its popularity among kids and adults, South Korean news agency Yonhap News said.
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North Korean interest in author J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series has grown, according a state-run newspaper in the country.

“The Literature Newspaper,” a North Korean outlet covering written works, said on Saturday that the success of “Harry Potter” was attributed to its worldwide translation and its popularity among both kids and adults, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap News.

The series shows kids how to “develop their future by revealing their personal strengths and skills,” while its images of sorcery and magic take place in a fantasy world, the North Korean outlet reportedly said.

The newspaper briefly summarized the series and added that it elevated the foreign fantasy literature genre to a “new stage.”

Although the North Korean regime officially heavily regulates international content and bans foreign entertainment such as movies and music, citizens from different socio-economic backgrounds are able to acquire that media by other channels.

USB thumb drives containing movies are smuggled into North Korea through China. A survey of 350 North Korean defectors, refugees, and travelers found that over 90% had seen foreign media on a DVD player.

Meanwhile, more than 43% of North Koreans, around 11 million people, are malnourished, according to a 2019 UN report. North Korea, subject to heavy sanctions, frequently diverts humanitarian aid and domestic funds to its elite class and to defense projects.

UN officials said that one in five North Korean children are “stunted due to chronic undernutrition.” About 3% of children under 5 years old, or 140,000 kids, suffer from what the UN described as “wasting or acute malnutrition.”

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