Balloon Update: Curiouser and Curiouser



On Thursday (Korea time), South Korean activists involved in sending balloons toward the North announced that they were calling off the launch, citing a death in the family of one of the leaders of the effort. But yesterday, Yonhap carried a short article reporting that the the mother of one of the leaders had in fact been murdered.

It is obviously premature to reach any judgment about what has happened. But the news prompted us to go back and look more carefully at the February 27 statement on the operation published by the KCNA. In a surprisingly detailed discussion of South Korean psyops, KCNA targets the broad coalition behind the effort, their links with GNP lawmakers and the coincidence of the scheduled launch with the Foal Eagle exercises. The article closes with a statement from the KPA:

“We officially notify that our army will stage a direct fire at the Rimjin Pavilion and other sources of the anti-DPRK psychological warfare to destroy them on the principle of self-defence, if such actions last despite our repeated warning.”

A subsequent story notes American involvement through a 450,000 dollar grant from a “democracy foundation” for south [sic] Korea's psychological warfare against the DPRK.

The KCNA stories emphasize that the balloon launches are aimed at bringing down the regime, which is certainly the case. In our last post on the balloon launch, we included a lengthy tract. But we have gotten on our hands on another leaflet that is much more pointed.

A translation:


The people are starving to death but Kim Jong Il and his sons are…

(Pictures of Kim Jong Il and sons)

The diseases that Kim Jong Il is suffering from--stroke, obesity and diabetes--are all caused by EATING TOO MUCH!! The sons Jong Nam and Jong Eun are also OBESE!!

The people of North Korea are surviving on wild clovers because they don’t even have corn…

The picture of the girl in the lower right of the flier caused a sensation in South Korea in late 2010 as a result of a smuggled video by Rimjin-gang reporter Kim Dong-cheol. A 23 year-old girl who looks no more than 14 is filmed picking clover to eat, typical foraging behavior of those facing extreme food distress. She said she had lost her parents and was starving. A few days after the interview, according to Rimjin-gang, she was found dead in a field. Cinema vérité.

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