Defectors to Send Monthly Newspaper to N.Korea

  • By Chang Il-hyun

    October 18, 2016 10:21

    A London-based coalition of North Korean defector organizations overseas will print a monthly newspaper for North Koreans and float it across the border by balloon.

    The International North Koreans' Association for Human Rights and Democracy was founded in 2014 and consists of 16 defectors organizations in 11 countries including Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S.

    Some 10,000 copies of the North Korea edition of FreeNK, the association's organ published in London, will be printed every month starting December, its leader Kim Joo-il said Monday.

    The four-page pamphlet will be written and edited in London, printed in South Korea, and floated from near the military demarcation line by balloon into the North.

    "If we set the timer on the balloons right, the newspaper can be sent all the way to Hamgyong and Pyongan provinces" in the remote North, Kim said.

    The newspaper will carry stories about the North Korean regime, international sanctions against the North for its nuclear and missile programs, and the lives of defectors who have settled down in free countries.

    Founded in 2013, FreeNK publishes a 32-page newsletter every other week. It carries articles in Korean and English and is distributed to major international agencies, NGOs and Korean communities in various countries.

    The group is also considering hand-delivering the newspaper through a human network and delivering it by drone, Kim said. The group said pamphlets are the most effective way of delivering news because USB sticks and DVDs cannot be watched by people who lack computers or do not know how to work them.

    "USB sticks and the like make sense only to the middle and upper classes in the North," Kim said. "Print newspapers are the most effective means of information for the most harshly oppressed people there."

    "It is ordinary North Korean, rather than the better-off, who will overthrow the regime at a decisive moment," he added. "The shortcut to bringing change to North Korean society is by waking them up."

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