North Koreans Demand Cease to Scattering of Flyers: Provides Proof of Their Effectiveness

Daily NK
Kim Song A

“In order to transform North Korea, outside news has to enter.”

North Korea, through the North-South Korea Military working-level talks held on the 10th, proposed the cease of scattering of flyers by private organizations. This is the 16th time that North Korea has made such a request.

The North Korean authorities, through the North-South General Officers Talks held in 2004, protested that South Korean private organizations are scattering defamatory flyers, despite the fact that North and South Korea agreed to stop advertisement activities, broadcasting, or public announcements in the Military Demarcation Line region.

Related to this, Lee Min Bok, Christian Defectors Association’s representative, evaluated in a phone interview with DailyNK on the 26th, “The reason why North Korea is reacting sensitively is because many North Koreans are exposed to materials distributed by ‘leaflet balloons’ and are being influenced.”

Mr. Lee revealed his intention to continue to carry out this work, “All North Koreans, with the exception of Kim Jong Il, probably appreciate the information distribution even though they cannot outwardly express it. We will continue to carry out this work with the single-hearted purpose of relaying outside news.”

Lee, who entered South Korea in `95 via Russia and China after defecting from North Korea in `90 is well-known as “the first refugee from North Korea defined by UN.” Presently, he graduated from seminary in South Korea and is involved in spreading Christianity in North Korea.

Through the balloon, his strategy is to transform North Korea while disseminating outside news such as evangelism flyers to North Korea. The members of defector and missionary organizations sent 207 large-size balloons (as of July 18th) to North Korea this year alone.

A total of 597,816 leaflets were sent to North Korea through these balloons. Six radios and medicine such as aspirin were included as well. He who has been continuing this activity since 2002 emphasized that disseminating outside news was more important than any other work.

“In East Germany and the former Soviet Union, outside news caused the fall of Communism. East Germany’s last prime minister Lothar de Maiziere said at the time of Germany’s reunification, “West Germany tried to relay news of the outside world to East Germany. Russian-born North Korean expert, Professor Andrei Lankov said, “Soviet Union was toppled because of the radio.”

“As when Romanian citizens executed dictator Ceaucescu, the potential power of North Korean citizens will be great if North Korea collapses,” confirmed Lee of the enormous impact dissemination of flyers and radio broadcasting has had on North Korean citizens.

He said, “Failure to support or back such activity might actually ignore the latent energy of North Korean citizens. When I was in North Korea, I learned a lot from the flyers from South Korea. What I saw then is significantly helping me produce flyers to be distributed to North Korea now.”

He recalled his experience then and has produced flyers which are considerate of North Korean citizens by expressing terminology or inscriptions which may not be understood in a more North Korean way.

Regarding the content of the flyers, he explained, “It focuses on North Korean society’s devotion towards Kim Jong Il and helping them realize the areas of propagandistic lies about South Korea.”

He added, “I have lived in North Korean society, so I know what to capture to reveal the true nature of North Korea’s political power. From such intent, the defectors have to become owners of this work and must actively step forward.”

Sending one large-sized balloon to North Korea costs around 140 dollars. The cost adds up if the one counts the failed balloons due to the weak north wind. The support money from defector or missionary organizations and civilian organizations have been appropriated for this work.

Lee, who believes that a single flyer he sends can change the North Korean people, emphatically said, “There is no one who significantly recognizes our work, but in order to open and reform North Korea, I do not think there is any other way. Until North Korea democratizes and becomes reunified, I will continue this work.”


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