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« Diplomacy on the net | Main | STRANGE POWERS: an unusual art exhibition »

When diplomacy fails, DIY

When diplomacy fails, DIY

In a world where I can receive news about the middle east conflict, the heatwave in the u.s., the stem cell research, indonesia tsunami, train bombings in india all at once whie sitting in a farm in Italy, it is hard to believe there exist places in the world where no outside media can penetrate its country's border. North Korea is one of those places.

The IHT reported on two North Korean defectors' effort to spread the news to the people locked inside Kim Jong Il territorry using DIY bottle-shaped balloons to drop leaflets containing messages from the South to their people in the North once a week. And everyday, their 30-minute radio program penetrates the North Korean radio signal into the homes of the people, broadcasting from their basement studio.

Once a week, Park Sang Hak and his colleagues travel to the border with North Korea and release bottle- shaped balloons. After soaring to an altitude of 2,500 meters, or 8,000 feet, above North Korea, the balloons release their payload: thousands of "freedom doves" - leaflets that describe leader Kim Jong Il as a greedy, womanizing despot with a protruding belly. The North Korean authorities bristle at the intrusion, condemning Kim's operation as psychological warfare sponsored by the United States. But Kim and Park say they are motivated solely by a desire to deliver messages of hope and freedom to starving people trapped in a garrison state. "My goal is to help North Koreans wake up and realize that they are living in a country built with lies," said Kim, head of Free North Korea Radio, or FNK.

Seoul does not back FNK for fear the these blunt criticism might disrupt its already fragile relation with Pyongyang, causing them to retreat further more. The FNK does not have a radio station license.


"If outside radio opens the ears of the North Koreans, our leaflets will open their eyes," Park said. "When their eyes and ears are open, they will open their mouth, speak out and revolt."

Read the full article: North Korean defectors' stealth protest

Originally from
ReBlogged by ann p on Jul 21, 2006 at 12:39 PM Posted by ann p on Jul 21, 2006 at 12:39 PM

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