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Korean band BTS appears at the daily press briefing with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, in the Brady Press Briefing of the White House in Washington, DC, May 31, 2022. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

South Korean cast members (from left) Park Hae-soo, Lee Jung-jae and Jung Ho-yeon in a scene from Squid Game. The series is a globally popular South Korea-produced Netflix show that depicts hundreds of financially distressed characters competing in deadly children's games for a chance to escape severe debt. Youngkyu Park/AP hide caption

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Youngkyu Park/AP

For cash-strapped South Koreans, the class conflict in 'Squid Game' is deadly serious

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Squid Game: Debt, Decisions, and the Paradox of Thrift

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The character Ali Abdul (portrayed by actor Anupam Tripathi) is a Pakistani migrant worker in South Korea whose boss hasn't paid him in months. Ali joins a secret competition called Squid Game to earn money for his family. Noh Juhan/Netflix hide caption

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Noh Juhan/Netflix