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The female soldier, described as a “model” soldier of the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, was detained after she was caught listening to US-government funded news agency Radio Free Asia (RFA) on duty. She is now being “severely punished in a political prison camp” after admitting to listening to the radio for three years while working at a signal company in Pyongyang, according to sources.
The brutal regime is known for its harsh punishments as dictator Kim Jong-un strengthens his stranglehold over his 25.5million North Korean citizens.
Kim has also increased the maximum punishment for watching foreign movies or dramas to up to 10 years behind bars in recent years.
The new penalty also applies to listening to music that is not North Korean.
The maximum penalty of a decade is a huge jump from the previous punishment of two-years in jail in an attempt to stamp-out Western influence within North Korea’s borders.
A source told RFA’s Korean Service: “After an investigation, she was put in a political prison camp.
“The female soldier confessed to listening to Radio Free Asia for three years during the investigation conducted by the Security Department of the People’s Army.
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“She was a first-class signaller serving in the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces building, and she had the rank of squad leader.
“They say she was an excellent signaller who had the mission of connecting radio communications between the Ministry of People’s Armed Forces and the Supreme Command.
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“She was listening to RFA while working the day before her arrest, but she had forgotten to turn the frequency back.
“An agent of the military security department caught it and reported her to his superiors.
“She was then arrested and is now being severely punished in a political prison camp.”
The source said her family was also taken to the camp to be punished as they are “guilty by association”.
Despite the harsh punishments, many soldiers who work in signal and radio transmission are said to listen to the radio to hear news outside the hermit kingdom.
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