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Thursday, March 23, 2023

S Korean activist claims to have launched 1 million anti-North leaflets

The group flew 20 giant balloons criticizing North Korea’s nuclear program and the lineage of the Kim family.

A South Korean activist has claimed to have sent one million propaganda leaflets to North Korea by balloon, their first such launch during a stand-off test for leaflets across the border.

North Korean defector-turned-activist Park Sang-hak said on Thursday he resumed his mass leaflet campaign this week after a year-long court trial for stopping such activities during a police investigation and sending balloons across the border last year. Did.

The law, which took effect in March 2021, gives anti-Pyongyang leaflets up to three years in prison and has been hotly debated in the South, with critics saying Seoul’s liberal government wants freedom of speech to improve relations with North Korea. was giving up.

On Monday and Tuesday, Park said his group, Fighters for a Free North Korea, flew 20 giant balloons carrying leaflets important to North Korea’s nuclear program and the Kim family across the tense Korean border.

Park said the balloons also carried pictures of South Korea’s incoming conservative president, Eun Suk Yeol, to show North Koreans the difference between the South’s election system and the North’s father-son succession. Small books and USB sticks containing information about the economic and cultural development of South Korea were also put in the balloons, he said.

“North Korea has betrayed us. It once said it would eliminate its nuclear weapons but its leader Kim Jong Un and [his sister] Kim Yo Jong is now threatening to launch a preemptive nuclear attack on South Korea and the international community. I want to condemn such acts,” Park said over the phone.

Police in Gyeonggi province, which has jurisdiction over the border areas where the park claimed to have launched the balloons, said they were investigating details about the park’s activities. He said he was not aware of Park’s report in advance.

Experts have said that many leaflets launched in the past surfaced in South Korean regions. North Korea has not responded to any of the leaflets this week.

North Korea is extremely sensitive about any outside attempts to undermine Kim Jong Un’s leadership and his complete control over the country’s 26 million people, most of whom have little access to foreign news.

In 2020, North Korea blew up an empty, South Korean-built liaison office in its territory after reacting furiously to South Korean civilian leafleting operations.

In 2014, North Korea fired at propaganda balloons flying towards its territory, and South Korea retaliated, although there were no casualties.

World Nation News Desk
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