Activist group launches anti-Pyongyang balloons into North Korea despite ban

Seoul, Apr 30 (EFE).- A group of activists in South Korea made up mainly of North Korean defectors announced on Friday that it has sent anti-regime leaflets by balloon into the North despite the recent approval of a law that prohibits it.

The Fighters for Free North Korea (FFNK) group, headed by the famous defector Park Sang-hak, announced on its website that it sent 500,000 pamphlets, 500 booklets and 5,000 $1 bills into North Korea this week.

The balloons, filled with hydrogen or helium, are released near the border so that the wind blows them north, where they burst and scatter the material denouncing the actions of the Kim administration.

It is the first time that one of these groups has carried out this activity since March when a law went into effect with punishments of a fine of up to 30 million won (about $27,000) or a prison sentence of up to 3 years.

The group added in the statement that they will continue with the balloon drops until the day of the liberation of North Koreans.

The law, criticized by this and other groups, was approved at the initiative of President Moon Jae-in’s liberal government after Pyongyang blew up the inter-Korean liaison office in its territory last year in apparent protest at the balloons.

While critics view that the government has yielded to the pressures of a dictatorial regime such as that of North Korea, Moon’s administration says that the law seeks to protect residents in border areas, as Pyongyang has previously responded with gunfire.

The South’s Unification Ministry, in charge of relations with the North, has indicated at a press conference that it is investigating whether the balloon launch actually took place and that it will address the matter in accordance with the provisions of the law. EFE


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