An image of two North Korean soldiers kissing circulated, reportedly lifted off a closed-circuit security video. Reaction has been mixed, with many worrying about the safety of the two men.
“My immediate thought was how basically three generations of their children will suffer if they get caught somehow,” said one Reddit user.
A poster on Instiz had a worse prediction: “I’m pretty sure they’ll be killed if they’re caught.”
Others, though, point out that social mores are different in different countries. “In Korea specifically, you see a lot of young men walking through the subways with their arms around each other,” posted another commenter. “In places like India, you might see full-on cuddling. It’s a cultural difference.”
While there are apparently no laws criminalizing homosexuality, defectors from North Korea often confess they’d never even heard of gay people before leaving the highly insular socialist state.
According to the government sponsored Korean Friendship Association, “the DPRK recognizes that many individuals are born with homosexuality as a genetic trait and treats them with due respect,” though there have been reports of gays and lesbians being executing for going “against the socialist lifestyle.”