North Korean Defector Drops 100,000 Copies of 'The Interview' into North Korea by Balloon

( [email protected] ) Jan 02, 2015 03:09 PM EST
North Korean Defector Park Sang Hake
Activist Park Sang Hak has been sending Western information—and entertainment—into Pyongyang via 33-foot hydrogen balloons. Photo: Bloomberg

A North Korean defector plans to deliver copies of "The Interview," a controversial Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy about an assassination plot against the leader of North Korea, directly to the country via balloon. 

According to the Associated Press, Park Sang-hak, who now works as an activist in South Korea, plans to use 33-foot hydrogen balloons to start dropping 100,000 DVDs and thumb drives containing the movie over North Korea as early as January. 

"North Korea's absolute leadership will crumble if the idolization of leader Kim breaks down," Park said.

"I believe that if we can get 100 times more balloons, then we will make [North Korean dictator] Kim Jong Un paranoid-sending more and more balloons to North Korea is more effective than sending a bomb on North Korea," he added."The thing is that if South Korea or the United States Air Force dropped a bomb, there's a way that [North Korea] would react to it, but the thing is with leaflets there's no way to react."

South Korean officials have previously expressed anger over the film, which depicts a CIA operation to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. In the weeks leading up to the film's December 25 release, Sony Pictures was the victim of a major cyber hack which saw thousands of intimate documents leaked online. The North Korean government has since denied allegations from the US government that the isolated country was behind the attack.  

To carry out his plan, Park is reportedly partnering U.S.-based non-profit Human Rights Foundation, which is financing the making of the DVDs and USB memory sticks of the movie with Korean subtitles.

"Mr. Park is the head of Fighters for a Free North Korea, one of several defector organizations that we will be working with," HRF's director of institutional affairs Alex Gladstein wrote in an email.

The Washington Post reports that the nonprofit recently launched #HackThemBack, an education campaign that invites people to help North Korean defectors "break the monopoly of information that the Kim regime imposes." On a crowdfunding website, the #HackThemBack campaign is working to raise $250,000 in donations to support their work.

"Your donation will allow us to get vital information to the North Korean people so they can begin to choose for themselves the kind of world in which they want to live," according to the site. "There is no dungeon deep enough to hide the truth and no wall high enough to stop the message of freedom. Fortunately, tyranny cannot control the winds."

However, experts say most North Koreans do not own DVD players, and those who do are not likely to risk watching the movie for fear of repercussions. According to South Korean analysts, owning a computer requires permission from the government and costs as much as three months' salary for the average worker.