June 08, 2020 12:21
The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in North Korea on Friday defended the right of South Korean activists to send propaganda leaflets by helium balloon to North Korea.
"I can only state that the controversy caused by the balloons that flew leaflets to the North, in reality, brings to my attention the problem that exists in North Korea for long time," Tomás Ojea Quintana said.
The government here alarmed many when it kowtowed to a shrill condemnation of the leaflet campaign by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister Yo-jong.
The Unification Ministry here ended up with egg on its face by claiming just hours later that the balloon campaign is "harmful to national security" and threatened to outlaw it.
But Quintana, in an interview with Radio Free Asia, said North Korea enforces "almost total limitation for their people to exercise the right to seek and receive information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." That strongly suggests he is in favor of getting such information to the North by any means possible.
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