[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

S Korea activists launch anti-North balloons

Pyongyang condemns aerial activism, labelling it a "foolish act of puppet warmongers" and campaigners as "human scum".

Last updated: 15 Jan 2014 05:12
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
S Korean police try to stop the launches, as Paju residents fear retaliation from the North [AFP]

South Korean activists have launched an anti-North Korea balloon campaign, sending packages containing leaflets, USB drives and money across the border, despite the North's government threatening to target the "human scum" involved.

The balloons started floating over the border on Wednesday containing US dollar bills, DVDs detailing human rights abuses in North, and transistor radios.

"There is clearly enormous hunger for outside information in North Korea," said Thor Halvorssen, the president of the US-based Human Rights Foundation, which supported the event in the border town of Paju.

"USB keys are one of the most powerful tools, because they're small, can be hidden and shared easily, and carry massive amounts of data."

Each of the 1,500 USB drives were loaded with the Korean-language version of Wikipedia. 

The balloon launch was organised by a defector group, Fighters for a Free North Korea.

"This is aimed at letting North Korean people know about [leader] Kim Jong-Un's brutality...and deliver a message to North Koreans that now is time for them to rise up and finish the dictatorship," said the group's leader Park Sang-Hak.

South Korean police have enforced bans on similar launches in the past, citing concerns from local residents about possible North Korean retaliation.

Last October, in response to a balloon launch, a statement from the North's Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said: "This is another intolerable challenge to the DPRK [North Korea]. 

"We will never tolerate the foolish act of the puppet warmongers but wipe out the provokers with merciless firing.

"We will deal a telling blow at the [South Korean] army to make it pay a very high price for its foolish provocation as it is keen on staging 'psychological warfare against the North' in alignment with human scum," said the statement, which was carried by the country's official news agency.

303

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Mother of jailed Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy says her son's ordeal highlights the value of press freedom.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Featured
Survivors of Bangladesh garment factory collapse say they received little compensation and face economic hardship.
As Iraq prepares to vote, deadly violence is surging. But at the site of one bomb attack, people insist life must go on.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Up to 23,000 federal prisoners could qualify for clemency under new Justice Department initiative.
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
join our mailing list