South Korean activists have decided that the time is not yet right to attempt to fly balloons into North Korea carrying copies of “The Interview,” a comedy that depicts an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Fighters for a Free North Korea, the group planning the airlift, told Voice of America on Monday that they would postpone, by at least a few days, Thursday’s planned launch of the balloons.
In a telephone interview last week with the Los Angeles Times, group leader Park Sang-hak said he wanted North Koreans to watch “The Interview” so they could see the country’s rulers, who are glorified in state-controlled films and television, in a different way. Though he believes “The Interview” is a useful contradiction of North Korean state propaganda, Park says the film wasn’t to his taste, with jokes he found to be somewhat crude.
Park fled the North in 1999 and now lives in South Korea, where he devotes his time to sending information to North Korea using USB sticks, DVDs and pamphlets. He describes his work as a campaign to undermine the Pyongyang government’s tight control on information.
Park is regularly the target of vitriol from North Korea’s official propaganda organs, which have called him “human scum” and threatened to “physically eliminate” him.
Park’s efforts have also made him unpopular among some South Koreans. In October, North Korea used machine guns to fire on some balloons his group launched. Shells landed on the South Korean side of the border, but no injuries or casualties were reported. South Korea residents of the area have held protests when the launches take place, arguing that the balloons pose a threat to their community’s safety.