March 11, 2013 13:10
The North Korean regime is using South Korean organizations and individuals as a propaganda tool.
The regime selectively chooses and edits scenes from anti-U.S. demonstrations and anti-war rallies in South Korea and shows them on state TV to give the impression of widespread discontent with capitalism and a yearning for reunification with the socialist paradise.
Thus massive demonstrations at the start of the Lee Myung-bak administration against import of U.S. beef were a godsend for the North Korean propaganda machine.
There are also plenty of South Koreans who visit North Korea despite restrictions, complaining about the South Korean government and making pro-North Korean statements. They are capable of swaying even some North Koreans who have growing doubts about their regime.
Before the mid 1980s, North Korean spies regularly lured or kidnapped South Koreans to the North, and paraded them before the media to make anti-South Korean statements.
But now many pro-North Korean activists from the South visit voluntarily. In 2010, the Rev. Han Sang-ryeol, a leftwing activist pastor, went to North Korean on an unauthorized trip, and in 2012 Ro Su-hui, the vice chairman of the Pan-Korean Alliance for Reunification, also made an unauthorized visit to Pyongyang to attend a tribute for late leader Kim Jong-il.
Experts say people like them give the false impression that South Korea is seething with anti-American sentiment and love of their Stalinist regime.
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