Date: October 30, 2023
South Korea (MNN) — South Korea’s Constitutional Court recently overturned a 2020 law that stopped people from sending anti-regime information to North Korea.
North Korean defectors in South Korea often use helium balloons to carry leaflets and USB drives across the border.
“Most of the launching is done by political groups, so the information that’s [sent across the border] is highly political,” The Voice of the Martyrs Korea cofounder and CEO Eric Foley says.
“It contains perspectives [about] government and human rights, and these kinds of things.”
VOM Korea has used a similar balloon-launching approach since 2005, but the material it sends is much different. More about that here.
“Our commitment remained the same, which is to always [ensure] our balloon launches were safe, both for the areas we were launching [in] as well as for the people who would receive our Bibles in North Korea,” Foley says.
“Our group has only ever launched the Bible, and we launch the Bible in the North Korean dialect.”
With the leaflet law overturned, it’s up to local police to regulate balloon activity on the border.
“That’s a good step because we’ve always had a good relationship with the police; we’ve always followed the requirements they laid out,” Foley says.
“They (police) were very helpful in our early days of balloon launching; they would advise us based on where they thought we could be effective.”
North Korea is the world’s worst persecutor of Christians. Foley says the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights began studying various human rights elements inside North Korea in 2000.
“By their calculation, no North Korean inside North Korea had ever seen a Bible with their own eyes,” Foley says.
Today, he continues, “More than eight percent of North Koreans have seen a Bible with their own eyes. That’s probably about 1.65 million people; we don’t know the exact population of North Korea because it’s a carefully guarded state secret by the North Korean government.”
Header image courtesy of The Voice of the Martyrs USA.