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S. Korean Activists Use Lower-Profile Approach for Leaflet Balloons


North Korean defector Park Sang Hak, right, carries a poster showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un during anti-Pyongyangrally near Unification Observation Post, Paju, South Korea, Oct. 4, 2013.

North Korean defector Park Sang Hak, right, carries a poster showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un during anti-Pyongyangrally near Unification Observation Post, Paju, South Korea, Oct. 4, 2013.

A South Korean activist group comprised of North Korean defectors says it will continue launching propaganda balloons toward the North, but without releasing details to the public beforehand.

The head of the Seoul-based Fighters for a Free North Korea, Park Sang Hak, told VOA Monday that he does not believe details about the leaflets should be secret. But he said his group will “keep it as such for the sake of stability on the Korean peninsula.”

Park said the balloons themselves cannot reach the far corners of the North. But the content of the leaflets they carry swiftly through the reclusive state due to the more than 3 million mobile phones being used in North Korea.

Park won the Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent in 2013. His group's anti-Pyongyang leaflets have sparked military threats from the North.

Last week, Pyongyang boycotted planned high-level talks with Seoul.

North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, an agency of the ruling Workers’ Party, said it decided against attending the talks because of the continued balloon launches.

South Korea called the North's decision to stay away from the talks unfortunate and unreasonable.

“North Korea has unilaterally cancelled the talks by making a big deal out of the balloons filled with anti-Pyongyang leaflets and also made menacing arguments,” said South Korea’s Prime Minister Chung Hong-won during a National Assembly session Monday.

Jee Abbey Lee contributed to this report.

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