For decades, efforts to bring outside information or entertainment into North Korea have been decidedly low tech.
Radio programs made for North Koreans can get their frequencies jammed. Balloons carrying pamphlets, SD cards and USB flash drives have been released in hopes that the wind would carry them over into North Korea. Sometimes, the balloons drift off course into the sea or back into South Korea. Traders and activists have hired smugglers to carry goods such as Chinese cell phones, media and other goods over the North Korean border. But relying on a network of people in the secretive state is risky and dangerous to the individuals involved.
However, drones can follow a specified route and drop off their payloads in a specific area. Human Rights Foundation President Thor Halvorssen said his organization is able to load several pounds of SD cards and flash drives on one drone.
After months of testing in secrecy, Jung Gwang-il, founder of the group No Chain, and Halvorssen decided to make their activities public in order to “encourage other civil society organizations to take advantage of new technologies. … With more and more other actors, it could have a big impact in increasing quantity of info getting in,” Halvorssen said.