News / Asia

S. Korean Activists Seize Moment of Kim Jong Il's Demise

Kurt Achin

South Korean activists Wednesday launched balloon-borne leaflets into North Korea that call on the public to reject the leadership of Kim Jong Il's designated successor.  Activists are seizing a unique moment to stoke public opposition to the North's authoritarian government.

With the North's territory in sight just across a bridge, the crowd cheered for favorable wind currents.

The group, led by a North Korean defector, has carried out similar launches before. But this is the first time their leaflets address the death of the man North Koreans know as the "Dear Leader."

The leaflets say "Kim Jong Il descended into hell" and display his image next to authoritarian figures like Libya's Moammar Qaddafi and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak.

Group leader Park Sung Hak says the leaflets call on North Koreans to imitate the past year's populist uprisings known as the "Arab Spring."

"We gathered here to send our messages to the 20 million North Korean people who are taking this crucial opportunity to be freed from the dictatorship," said Park.  "The message is the three-generation succession of power is not acceptable and North Korean people should stop it with their own will."

Meanwhile, Christian activist Kim Seong-eun met with journalists in Seoul.

Kim showed surreptitiously-filmed video clips of life inside North Korea including some extremely rare video of a women's prison labor camp.  Human rights groups say some 200,000 North Koreans have been sent to such camps, where they live in deplorable conditions.

In a short clip shown to journalists, a single file line of disheveled apparent prisoners walk with their hands up.

Human rights groups estimate some 200,000 North Koreans have been sent to the camps, where torture is prevalent and living conditions can be deadly.

Kim says the country is now in a security lockdown, making it hard to smuggle out such images.

"Before Kim Jong Il died, we could telephone North Koreans fairly easily," said Kim.  "But that has gotten much more difficult under heightened security. In the longer run, though, I think our work will become easier."

Kim says many ordinary North Koreans fear Kim Jong Un will mismanage the economy, re-creating the famine conditions that drove tens of thousands to flee the country in the late 1990s.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid