North Korea defectors defy South to launch anti-Kim leaflets

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A North Korea defector group this week twice defied a ban by Seoul on flying anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone dividing the peninsula, it said on Friday (Apr 30).

The launches by the Fighters for a Free North Korea were the first since the law was passed in December.

The group “flew 500,000 leaflets, 500 books and US$5,000 in cash bills distributed between a total of 10 large balloons over two occasions near the DMZ between April 25 and 29”, said its chairman Park Sang-hak.

Activist groups have long sent flyers critical of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over human rights abuses and his nuclear ambitions across the DMZ, either flying them by hot air balloon or floating them across rivers.

The leaflets have infuriated Pyongyang, which issued a series of vitriolic condemnations last year demanding Seoul take action and upped the pressure by blowing up an inter-Korean liaison office on its side of the border.

The South Korean parliament rapidly passed a law criminalising sending leaflets and USB drives – a favoured method of distributing information and entertainment.

 

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