December 31, 2014 13:13
Activists here are determined to goad the North Korean regime by floating pirated DVDs of the Hollywood caper "The Interview" across the border.
The run-of-the-mill flick has become an international cause célèbre by focusing on a fictional assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and sparking a North Korea-linked hacking attack on distributor Sony Pictures.
The U.S. Human Rights Foundation has agreed to fully fund a project to send "The Interview" to the North, Park Sang-hak of Fighters for Free North Korea said Tuesday. "A few days ago, we received 50,000 DVDs and as many USBs of 'The Interview' with Korean subtitles."
But floating that much merchandise across the border attached to helium balloons presents a formidable challenge. "We're first of all going to float balloons carrying 10,000 DVDs and USBs on any day in January when the wind blows in a northerly direction, and the remaining 90,000 DVDs and USBs later," Park said.
"The Interview" seems to have already been smuggled into the North, with some North Korean users of South Korean mobile phones that automatically connect to South Korea's roaming service watching the film on their phones.
"If defector groups buy mobile phones in South Korea and send them to the North through China, the phones automatically connect to South Korea's roaming service," said Kim Sung-min of Free North Korea Radio. "I've talked with two North Koreans who've watched the movie on their phone. They said they were disappointed because the movie feels like a cartoon."
They said given how unlike the real Kim Jong-un the movie character is, the regime has inadvertently given a massive marketing boost to a B-movie that would otherwise have sunk like a stone.
The North has set up a task force led by a three-star general in the State Security Department to crack down on anyone smuggling the film into its hallowed borders.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com