SEOUL, March 24 (Korea Bizwire) – A leading anti-North Korean activist vowed Tuesday to continue his campaign to send leaflets critical of the communist country across the border despite bitter military threats from the North.
“Balloons (carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets) that convey news from the outside are a kind of media to North Koreans, which should not be an object of any political negotiations,” Lee Min-bok, head of the Campaign for Helping North Korea in a Direct Way, said in an e-mail sent to journalists.
“Upon a favorable flow of wind, (the group) will scatter anti-North Korea leaflets any time,” said Lee, a North Korean defector. “We will never stop the leaflet campaigns until the North Korean regime allows North Koreans the freedom to use radio and the Internet.”
Lee’s pledge came just one day after another leading anti-Pyongyang leaflet activist, Park Sang-hak, announced a temporary halt to his leaflet campaign amid growing North Korean military threats and worsening local public opinion.
The North has repeatedly threatened to shoot down political leaflets flying from the South with cannons or missiles as the communist country considers such campaigns as threatening to its regime.
South Korean activists, mostly North Korean defectors, have often launched big plastic balloons carrying anti-North leaflets in a campaign to stir internal resistance to the dictatorship.
In October, Lee’s leaflet campaign led to North Korea firing gunshots into the South, escalating military tension along the border.
The anti-Pyongyang leaflet scattering has recently been at the center of tension between the two Koreas, which technically remain at war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.