North Korea Defectors Vow to Send Million Fliers on Korean War Over Border

As North Korea plans a mass drop of propaganda fliers over South Korea, a defector-led activist group in the south is also preparing to send a million leaflets across the border on the upcoming anniversary of the start of the Korean War.

North Korea announced their leaflets have been "piled as high as a mountain" and aim to "slam the criminal acts of the South Korean authorities" and denounce North Korean defectors, according to an article in state media outlet Rodong Sinmun.

Meanwhile, the defector group Free North Korea Movement Federation completed the preparation of their own fliers back in March. The group plans to fly them across the border as scheduled, the leader of the group, Park Sang-hak, told South Korea's Yonhap News Agency on Saturday.

The leaflets, which will "inform North Koreans about the truth of the Korean War," will be sent on June 25 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Korean War this year.

Park said it will "depend on the wind conditions," noting that "if the wind doesn't blow, we can't send them...But if the winds are right, we could even send them off tonight [Saturday]."

Earlier this week, another defector group known as Kuensaem was reported to be preparing to send hundreds of bottles stuffed with rice, medicine, and medical face masks into the sea on Sunday near the border. But the plans were scrapped on Friday following ongoing opposition by South Korean officials.

Last week, the South Korean government announced it would pursue legal action against two defector groups, condemning their shipments for raising tensions with North Korea, posing a threat to those living near the border, and damaging the environment.

When asked about the risks the leaflet distribution could have on residents, Park Sang-hak told Yonhap: "What damage have we done?" He added that sending the fliers on the anniversary was a joint decision made by the group, not on his own.

The leader of Kuensaem, Park Jung-oh, said Thursday: "We do this as humanitarian aid amongst those who share the same values, so whatever North Korea says, we will continue to help those in hard situations, the elderly and the victims."

Kuensaem has been sending goods to North Korea twice a month for the past five years. Sunday would have marked the 108th occasion, the Kuensaem leader said.

Several defector-led groups in South Korea regularly send fliers over the border, along with food, $1 bills, small radios, and USB sticks containing South Korean television drama series and news programs. Most are sent using balloons or bottles in rivers.

Back in October 2014, military members on both sides exchanged fire after a large balloon was sent by the Free North Korea Movement Federation from the Gyeonggi Province near the border.

Seoul South Korea protests summit anniversary 2020
South Korean pro-unification protesters in Seoul at a demonstration on June 13, 2020 to mark the 20th anniversary of the historic June 2000 summit between the late former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung and North Korea's later leader Kim Jong-il. Getty Images