The animated comedy The Simpsons is one of many foreign cartoons watched illegally in the country. But a source in North Pyongan province said the Kim Jong Un regime recently imposed a ban on U.S. and South Korean animations, Radio Free Asia reported.
The cartoons, like other forms of outside media, enter the country on flash drives or memory cards, the source said.
Cartoons like The Simpsons are included on the flash drives along with other films, but according to the source, the animated series drew the ire of North Korean authorities because one episode deals with damages from radiation exposure that occur in the course of Pyongyang’s nuclear development.
The cartoon, popular among ordinary North Koreans, also raises awareness about the risks of radioactive contamination that arise in the course of nuclear development, the source said.
In the cartoon, Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, where Homer Simpson works as a safety inspector, is often depicted as being poorly maintained. The core of the reactor comes close to meltdowns multiple times.
The animated comedy is spreading concerns of North Korea’s nuclear development, the source added.
A second source in North Hamgyong province told RFA the Kim regime is cracking down on the circulation of a cartoon that depicts Robin Hood, the heroic outlaw who defies authority to lead an uprising against a corrupt king.
It was unclear whether the Robin Hood cartoon in question was the 1973 Walt Disney production but the source said the cartoon aired on state television in 2006.
After viewing the cartoon, North Korean viewers had said the film depicted their own reality, the source said.
“More people are raising their voices, saying they cannot understand the [government’s] handling of affairs,” the source said, regarding the ban.