MAJ Ed Rouse (Ret.) and SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.)
Part of this article was extracted in part from Part Two, "Security Environment and Threat Assessment", Chapter Three, "North Korean Situation and Military Threat", of the 1996-1997 Defense White Paper, published by the Department of Defense in Washington DC. Additional information was gathered from various news and intelligence sources.
The basic objectives of North Korean psychological warfare are to create a favorable condition to communize the entire peninsula, and the directions can be categorized as follows:
First, to spread revolutionary indoctrination throughout the South Korean populace, that is, to instill anti-America and anti-government sentiment in the South and to instigate struggle against the South Korean government through revolutionary indoctrination of a whole range of South Korean society including workers, farmers, the youth, students, intellectuals and the military.
Second, to provoke struggles for anti-American independence and anti-dictatorship democratization among South Koreans, thus linking anti-American and anti-government struggle with the communization of the entire peninsula.
Third, to launch, consistently and aggressively, disguised peace offensives against South Korea, thus attempting to create a favorable atmosphere to communize the South by urging the USFK to withdraw from the peninsula, precipitating the disintegration of the South, and putting forward false peace offensives to dress up the regime's image.
Fourth, to induce internal discord within South Korean society and the disintegration of its system, North Korea has been launching political and ideological offensives to create chaos in South Korean society, drive a wedge between the people and the government, and provoke strife between the ruling elite and the military.
Fifth, to create a favorable international environment to incite revolution in the South. By continuously asserting the inevitability and righteousness of the revolutionary struggle in the South, North Korea hopes to gain support from the international community.
Organizations for Psychological Warfare
Under the direction of the Secretariat of the KWP, the supreme organization in the North Korean political system, Pyongyang has pursued continuous integrated psychological warfare in all aspects of political, economic, social and military affairs at both tactical and strategic levels.
The United Front Department of the KWP Secretariat operates psychological warfare through radio, TV and loudspeaker broadcasts, leaflet distribution, and visual displays. Major propaganda apparatus employed are such radio and TV stations as Pyongyang Broadcast Service, Pyongyang FM Service and the Kaesong TV Station. They are operated by the Committee on Broadcasting toward South Korea which is under the direct control of the United Front Department. North Korea also operates the Democratic People's United Front Broadcast Agency, the so-called Voice of National Salvation, a malicious propaganda machine against the South.
Under the supervision of the United Front Department of the KWP, the Enemy Breakup Operation Department of the General Politburo under the MPAF is in charge of loudspeaker broadcasts. Leaflet operations are carried out by Liaison Office #310 and rubber balloon platoons of the MPAF, which are also under the control of the KWP United Front Department.
Activities by Propaganda Machinery
In 1995 Pyongyang broadcast over thirty propaganda programs over loudspeakers at the DMZ, repeating them anywhere from two to ten times for ten or eleven hours per day. Recently, however, the broadcasting period has tended to be shorter due to aging broadcasting equipment and shortage of electricity. Leaflets containing criticism against the South and self-praising propaganda, are dispersed by rubber balloon toward the South from some ten points along the front line, especially the section immediately north of the Seoul metropolitan area.
North Korea has established more than 500 visual display posts on the subjects of personality cult of Kim Jong-il, self-praise of the North Korean political system, and anti-American and anti-military propaganda. They utilize neon lights, engraved stones, standing signboards and walls. Most of them, however, are worn out and crude in appearance.
Recent Trends of Psychological Warfare against the South
Recent North Korean propaganda and instigation are intended: to intensify criticism and reproach against specific persons and the South Korean government by criticizing and fabricating false stories on the globalization, summit diplomacy and reform policies of the incumbent government; to create distrust among the South Korean populace against the government by spreading distorted and exaggerated information on the irregularities within the South Korean military and regarding living conditions of the populace, and thus estranging the public from the government. North Korea, while it unilaterally abrogated the Armistice Agreement, has continuously strengthened propaganda offensives against the South as usual.
First, North Korea has intensified vilification and reproach specific persons. It has criticized and reproached South Korea's diplomacy toward Europe, the UN and the Asia-Pacific region as flunkeyism and sellout diplomacy. It has also vilified and reproached specific persons regarding the rectification of history and the general elections to the Fifteenth National Assembly.
Second, Pyongyang is instigating an anti-American and anti-government struggle in South Korea. It has been heightening tension on the peninsula, falsely labeling ROK government response measures to the nuclear issue as well as ROK-US joint military exercises as "exercises to attack the North." While it spreads anti-American sentiment among the South Koreans in relation with South Korea's market opening and the ROK-US SOFA agreement, North Korea is instigating an anti-government struggle to oppose the construction of nuclear waste storage sites and to abolish the ROK's National Security Law.
Third, North Korea has plotted the disintegration of public consensus among South Koreans by falsely propagating information on the South Korean military and society. It has intensified its vilification against the South Korean military service conditions to make the servicemen weary of their duties and to curtail their morale. It has also schemed to arouse distrust among university students and workers against the current government by vilifying government policy regarding the Kwangju incident and labor disputes, thus instigating an anti-government struggle and the disintegration of public consensus.
Fourth, it has continued to carry out disguised peace offensives by proposing "Ten Principles for Uniting the Korean People" and advocating a peace treaty with the US. It has intensified its disguised peace offensives to project a peaceful image for itself at home and abroad and to take initiative in the South-North dialogue. In order to carry out these aims, North Korea conducted the August 15 Pan-Korean Assembly and proposed the Federation of Koryo Republic, Ten Principles for Uniting the Korean People, and the replacement of the existing Armistice Agreement with a peace treaty with the US.
Fifth, North Korea has continued to launch propaganda about the supremacy of the North Korean-style socialist system. Faced with a system crisis after the collapse of the East European communist bloc, North Korea has stepped up its propaganda on the supremacy of the socialist system and its ideology. Since the death of Kim Il Sung, North Korea has highly praised Kim Jong-il's leadership and tried to implant a pro-North Korea group in the South and to strengthen internal cohesion of its system by calling for allegiance to Kim Jong-il.
All in all, North Korea has been trying to establish a basis for achieving unification by communizing the South through such psychological warfare as vilification of individual persons, thus attempting to impair the legitimacy of the current ROK government, and instigation of anti-government struggle and social disorder.
The South Korean Navy Corvette Cheonan
After the 26 March 2015 sinking of one of their military warships by North Korea, South Korea installed propaganda loudspeakers in 11 places along the heavily-fortified demilitarized zone in retaliation. On 12 June 2015, North Korea's military threatened to destroy South Korean propaganda loudspeakers along its border and to turn Seoul into a sea of flame. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said that the North Korean armed forces:
Will launch an all-out military strike to blow up the group's means for the psychological warfare against the DPRK in all areas along the front.
South Korea resumed their propaganda loudspeaker campaign on 10 August 2015 along the tensely guarded border in retaliation for the detonation of a North Korean mine in the demilitarized zone one week earlier. The loudspeaker broadcasting started during the evening on that day and continued on and off down the road in two spots along the border. The South Korean military removed border-area facilities for anti-North loudspeaker broadcasting in 2004 before returning them to the border area following the North's deadly torpedoing of the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan in 2010. However, no broadcasts were made at that time. The two Koreas remain at war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
Konstantin Asmolov mentioned the propaganda that followed the sinking of the Cheonan in an article entitled: The Korean Peninsula: On balloons and leaflets. He said in part:
On 10 June 2010, 150,000 leaflets and 300 DVDs detailing the sinking of the Cheonan, plus 200 portable radios and 2000 one-dollar bank notes were sent to the North.
He talked about other similar campaigns:
After the barrage against the island of Yeonpyeongdo by North Korean artillery, special balloons delivered 400,000 leaflets to the North during the night of the 23 November from four points in the Gyeonggi and Gangwon Provinces.
Against the background of the Arab Spring, leaflets describing the revolutions and unrest in the Middle East were sent to North Korea, as well as food, medicine and radios. As one of the initiators of the action, Member of Parliament Son Yon Son, declared, these actions are intended to make North Koreans start thinking about changes.
A curious detail was that each food parcel contained a note stating that it had been sent by the Ministry of Defense of South Korea and was safe for human consumption. In order to dispel any doubt, it was suggested that the Northerners test a portion of the products on the local livestock.
Many military people, politicians and even tourists want to see the DMZ and the North Korean troops up close. Because it is so dangerous, the guests must sign a waiver stating that they understand the danger and accept it. The front of the waiver is in English, the back has the exact same text in Korean. After signing the waiver the guest is given a pass, written all in Korean in various bright colors. I have seen the passes in pink, green and blue.
South Korean Military Loudspeakers
The ministry said the decision is in line with its pledge to make North Korea pay the harsh cost for the landmine blast. Regarding the North's previous threats to strike South Korean loudspeaker facilities, the official said that a higher level alert is in place to respond to possible North Korean provocations. The ministry declined to disclose what part of the DML will be subject to the propaganda campaign, but sources said the affected Paju area will be one of them:
As part of retaliation for North Korea's illegal provocation, our military will partly carry out loudspeaker broadcasting along the military demarcation line as the first step.
Two South Korean staff sergeants were severely injured as landmines exploded on the southern side of the demilitarized zone in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, on Aug. 4, while they were on a patrol mission. The South Korean military's probe showed Monday the cause of the explosion was three North Korean wooden-box landmines which were intentionally buried in the South Korea-guarded area.
The Korean news site Chosunilbo reported on the South Korean mobile PSYOP capability on 25 August 2015. It said in part:
The South Korean military has mobile leaflet production equipment and a mobile broadcast production and relay vehicle for psychological warfare against North Korea. The military has five-ton vehicles capable of producing and disseminating leaflets on the battlefield.
The military can produce up to 80,000 leaflets a day or 60 per minute with the vehicles, which have a satellite receiver and sender. It also has hot-air balloons that can carry leaflets into North Korean skies.
A mobile broadcast vehicle for psychological warfare against North Korea
The military also has a mobile broadcast vehicle capable of producing and transmitting broadcast programs to the North. It also operates six relay stations that can communicate with the satellite Mugunghwa 5 near the demilitarized zone to transmit broadcasts produced by PSYOP headquarters to the North. Four large loudspeakers are installed at outposts in the DMZ.
A military spokesman said We keep a database of some 1,300 leaflets and about 470 materials for broadcast programs in preparation for wartime PSYOP against the North. U.S. personnel of the Combined Forces Command are participating in producing leaflets, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CFC commander review and approve them.
Alexandre Dor wrote about the power of the broadcasts from the South in an article entitled North Korea's Achilles Heel: Propaganda Broadcasts published in The Diplomat, 12 September 2015. He said in part:
Spread from Gyodong Island in the west to Goseong in the east, South Korea has 11 loudspeaker locations along the DMZ. Playing between two and three times a day in three to five hour intervals, the broadcasts can be heard for a distance of roughly 15 miles at night and six miles during the day. The decibels output of these 30 foot tall speakers is about 147. For perspective, at 141 decibels you incur long-term hearing damage and feel physically nauseous within minutes. At 145 decibels your vision blurs due to eyeball vibration.
The genius of the broadcasts is that they non-violently undermine the stability of Kims kingdom by becoming reliable, trusted source of knowledge at the expense of North Korean propaganda. It starts with banal topics such as weather reports, defectors talking about how to deal with hot weather or giving warnings about coming showers and advising people take their laundry in.
Then comes international news such as the happenings in Syria, seeding doubts of descent. As Stories of the Free Syrian Army give troops a chance to question their Dear Leader and provide examples of people rising up against oppressive regimes. K-pop songs inform young North Korean troops that there are other songs than the Kim familys propaganda songs. Advertisement about Samsungs latest Galaxy phone or Coca Colas newest partnership for limited edition cans with Riot Games demonstrates South Koreas rich and prosperous middle-class to North Koreans. Add on Pyongyangs internal inability to produce enough electricity, and the broadcasts crush morale.
Furthermore, these broadcast actively encourage North Koreans, whether soldiers or citizens to defect. Assigned to the western front before defecting, former North Korean soldier Ju Seung-young remarks that The impact was greater than you may expect, the South Korean loudspeakers were a rare source for news about the outside world. At first, I thought their broadcasts were all lies. But after being exposed for two years straight, I began to believe it.
South Koreas ability to effectively erode North Koreas Ministry of Propaganda and Agitations multi-decade monopoly on information is something that irritates Pyongyang beyond belief.
On 12 August 2015, The Fighters for Free North Korea (FFNK), an organization of defectors from the North, announced that they will send some 20 balloons containing more than 500,000 leaflets from Imjingak, a few kilometers from the Demilitarized Zone to North Korea on 14 August. The leaflets condemn the North for the recent land mine explosion in the demilitarized zone which maimed South Korean soldiers.
North Korea immediately threatened to shoot at the activists that send balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets over the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
We consider such leaflet campaigns as a military provocation and also a declaration of war. We'll take firm measures and fire shots mercilessly once the provocative act begins.
A South Korean official said that the military is planning to introduce portable loudspeakers that will be more difficult for North Korea to target and strike compared with fixed ones. The new digital portable loudspeakers are capable of broadcasting more than 20 kilometers at night. There are currently 11 speakers through which anti-North propaganda messages can be broadcast. Setting up one area with a speaker costs 13 million won ($11,583) and the South is planning to set up three additional locations.
In order to build up its psychological warfare against the North, the military is also considering re-installing electronic billboards near the inter-Korean border to air anti-North Korean propaganda videos. It will also further highlight the abnormality of the North Korean regime in its cyber warfare efforts.
The military resumed its psychological warfare operations against North Korea in retaliation for land mines that exploded in the Demilitarized Zone.
On 17 August, North Korea blared propaganda audio messages across the border into South Korea, the same day Seoul started military exercises with the United States and other countries. Hours before, the North had threatened to "retaliate against the U.S. with tremendous muscle" if it did not cancel the military exercises.
The exercises, spearheaded by the U.S. and South Korea, started 17 August as planned, with both nations' military forces describing them as an annual effort to improve readiness and ensure stability on the Korean Peninsula. As far as North Korea's retaliation goes, it appeared to be in the form of propaganda messages against South Korea, a major U.S. ally in the region. It blasted the messages into South Korea using loudspeakers, the South's Defense Ministry said, in the latest tensions between the two nations. It is believed that North Korea started broadcasting in order to stop South Korea's broadcasts from reaching North Korean citizens and military in the area.
On 20 August at about 3:52 p.m. the North Korean military fired at South Korean military loudspeakers across the Demilitarized Zone amid the recently resumed psychological warfare campaign. The attack occurred on the western front and was identified by counter-battery radar. South Korea did not immediately fire back.
On 24 August North and South Korea reached an agreement to resolve the showdown on the divided peninsula, with Pyongyang expressing regret for recent provocations, including a land mine attack that severely injured two Southern soldiers. In return, Seoul agreed to turn off the loudspeakers that had angered Pyongyang so much that it had entered a quasi state of war. The loudspeaker messages can travel about 12 miles at night and about half that during the day, well into North Korean territory. They also played South Korean pop songs like Tell me your wish by Girls Generation.
Tell me your wish; tell me your little dream,
Imagine your ideal type in your head, and look at me,
Im your genie, your dream, your genie.
The 20 September Balloon Launch
All seemed peaceful on the Korean front until 20 September 2015, when South Korean activist Park Sang-hak of the Fighters for Free North Korea said his organization had launched 10 giant balloons from the South Korean border city of Paju. The balloons carried 200,000 anti-Kim Jong-un leaflets and included videos of South Korean President Park Geun-hye attending China's Victory Day parade on 3 September. Other information included denunciations of North Korea's long-range missile and nuclear weapons programs. The balloons also carried 1,000 one dollar bills, and the videos were loaded on to 500 flash drives and 500 DVDs.
On 23 September, Pyongyang's propaganda outlet Uriminzokkiri said:
How can separated families from the North and South meet, and how are North and South Korean authorities to engage in rapprochement when there are individuals spreading hatred and loathing between a common people?
A North Korean Hydrogen Bomb?
North Korea started off the year 2015 by claiming to have exploded a hydrogen bomb on 6 January. This is a country that cannot feed or fuel itself and routinely blackmails the West to send it food and oil in return for not making bombs. Just one day later, South Korea announced it would resume cross-border propaganda broadcasts.
Loudspeaker broadcasts were scheduled to start on 8 January, believed to be the birthday of young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. South Korea stopped earlier broadcasts after it agreed with Pyongyang in late August on a package of measures aimed at easing animosities. Seoul agreed to stop the broadcasts unless an abnormal event occurred. South Korea said that the Norths bomb test was abnormal and a violation of the August agreement. Seoul also began talks with Washington that could see the arrival of nuclear-powered U.S. submarines and warplanes to the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea immediately threatened war. Supreme Commander Kim declared a quasi-state of war in the border region, instructing the North Korean frontline units to switch to war mode. The North Korean media said that officers have been dispatched to the frontline to destroy the enemys means of psychological warfare if the South does not stop its propaganda broadcasts. North Korea fired artillery at Yeoncheon County in the South on 7 January detected by South Korean counter-battery radar, and South Korea stated that 50 North Korean submarines had left their bases.
A North Korean Leaflet
A brief word about translations. Sometimes the Korean newspapers add an English language translation to the North Korean Leaflets when they depict them. Most times they do not and some of the leaflets in this article have been translated by a young UCLA History Graduate named Woo Young Kim. I want to thank him for all his help in this article. I also need to thank John Koh who was born in Korea and was 10 years old when the war broke out. He served as an English interpreter while a Lieutenant in the South Korean Army. He immigrated to Canada in 1970 to study and remained there.
On 17 January 2016 it was reported that North Korea had begun leafleting South Korea. The Associated Press announced that North Korea has launched an estimated 1 million propaganda leaflets by balloon into South Korea amid increased tension between the rivals following the Norths recent nuclear test. The Norths military has been sending the balloons on a near-daily basis and the leaflets have reached Seoul in addition to areas close to the border.
Additional North Korean Leaflets
The North Koreans have called President Park Geun-hye a prostitute and have depicted US President Barack Obama as a monkey. One of the leaflets above depicts President Park in a red bikini being thrown into a rubbish bin and called human filth.
The Bikini leaflet says:
Trash President Park Geun Hae belongs in...[the trash bin]
The witch from the Blue House, Park Geun Hae, who lies to the people and is co-operating with the foreign powers to bring a nuclear war to the Peninsula will be thrown into the trash bin!
Note: the use of words in this message is interesting. The first word, trash can also mean shit. The word translated as people is a word commonly associated with South Korean liberal activists. The term translated as foreign powers is often used in a negative context, a term that is usually used to describe colonial powers such as Japan.
The text of the second leaflet says in part:
- There is no politics, only authoritative rule.
- There is no unification, only division.
- There is no democracy, only dictatorship.
President Park is a political waste A tax squeezing waste.
Once again the North Koreans have changed a word ever so slightly so that the title "President" again implies shit. Those Communists seem to favor fecal matter.
The Prostitute Park Geun-hye
Another North leaflet dropped in mid-January 2016 depicted President Park Geun-hye as a prostitute entertaining U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
In the upper leaflet President Park says to Obama and Abe:
We raised government funding to support the US troops and opened up the rice markets. You'll treat us well, right?
We'll follow the Tokyo time zone just like how my father did and label Dokdo as Takeshima so you won't vote against us, right?
The text ends with:
Punish the flunkyist prostitute Park Geun-hye in the name of the people!
Note: The rice markets have to do with the rice market deal in the Free Trade Agreement. The North Korean time zone is different than that of South Korea. Regarding the leaflet comment, Syngman Rhee established a Korean standard time which was different from Japan. Park Chung Hee changed this during his regime so it was the same as Japan. The term flunkyism [sadaejuui] has little meaning in the United States but to the Koreas it can mean Loving and admiring the great and powerful. So, Park is prostituting herself to the powerful leaders of other nations. Dokdo is a disputed Island claimed by Korea and called Takeshima by Japan.
The back of the Prostitute leaflet
The top of the leaflet is:
The shameful acts of the flunkyist and submissive "Yushin" party!
President Park says to U.S. ambassador Mark Lippert:
Cheer up, I have the same scar.
Kim Moo-sung carries the US Military Commander and says:
You are going to stay here forever, right?
Shin Dong-ook holds a sign which says:
We are sorry for not being able to protect you.
The bottom text says:
Their bodies smell like dead bodies because their heads and brains are rotten!
The Korean at the far right with the big eyes is labeled Citizen.
Note: Yushin is referring to the Yushin Constitution of 1972 when Park Chung-Hee changed the constitution so he could become president for life. The scar refers to when Park was attacked in 2006 with a razor blade which scarred her cheek. Shin Dong-Ook is a professor and husband of Park Geun-ryung, Park Geun-hae's sister. He actually held up such a sign in front of the hospital after Lippert was attacked. Shouting No to war training, Kim Ki-jong, lunged at U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert on 5 March 2015 in Seoul with a 10-inch blade and cut his cheek. The wound required 80 stitches. Kim was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the attack. This side of the leaflet seems to be specifically referring to the Lippert incident and how the Korean politicians acted after the incident. South Korea was very apologetic and North Korea applauded the attack and criticized the South Korea subservience.
Two weeks after the dropping of the above leaflets, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that along with those leaflets mentioning trash was actual trash that included 600 cigarette butts. There was an early report that the North Koreans also sent used toilet paper, but the Seoul Defense Ministry did not confirm that report. The garbage drop and its contents had the military on high alert and raised fears that North Korea was sending lethal biochemical agents to the South.
Another group of North Korean Leaflets
These leaflets are mostly text and the way they were photographed it is difficult to read their messages but we can see the following:
The Mighty Baekdu Revolutionary Army Does Not Make Empty Threats. If the American Imperialist bandits and their puppet dogs set off the flames of war, the arms of Mt. Baekdu shall obliterate the stronghold of our nemeses down to its roots.
Insane Ramblings of a Half-Corpse: DMZ Peace Park, Family Reunions, Progress, Welfare, Economic Equality, August 15 Speech.
We will bring horrifying consequences to the fanatics who call for the invasion of the North.
Ultimatum by the Korean People's Army: If the enemies ignite the flames of war, we shall annihilate them mercilessly until there is no one left to sign their surrender.
If the Dog Barks
Warning! If the dog barks, we shall beat it down mercilessly.
Dreadful Tragedies to Warmongers
This North Korean leaflet depicts their fighters attacking and strafing the enemy. The text is:
We will bring most dreadful tragedies to warmongers
A North Korean Slogan Slip The Second Message Below
Many of the leaflets are short text messages like the Communists used in during the Vietnam War, sometimes called a slogan slip. Some of the not very subtle propaganda messages are:
Park Geun-hye and her clan are dogs that have gone crazy. We should beat them down for using psychological warfare and worsening inter-Korean relations!
Psychological warfare against the North is lighting the fuse of war. Stop the loudspeaker broadcasts immediately!
Stop with any further hostilities or stupid actions that can threaten your security!
The United States should surrender its anachronistic hostile policy against the North immediately!
Baekdu Mountains great nation does not know empty threats. Should the Americans and their followers provoke the spark of war, than Baekdu Mountains gun barrel will blow up all our foes.
Dont get caught up with bitch Park Geun Hyes anti-North Korea provocations that only bring calamitous results. Only miserable death waits for those who slander their same people.
Knock out the gang of Park Geun-hye who aggravated North-South relations by resuming anti-North psychological warfare broadcasts.
Note: Baekdu Mountain or Changbai Mountain is on the border between North Korea and China. The Korean name is Baekdu-san, which means White head mountain. An expansive pit lake, called Heaven Lake, is in the caldera on the mountain. Images of that lake surrounded by a circle of peaks are frequently used as symbols of North Korea's national aspirations -- especially re-unification.
The 2 February North Korean Leaflet Drop
Mobile Missile Launchers
Thousands of North Korean leaflets were dropped on Seoul on 2 February 2016 and again just below the Demilitarized Zone on 3 February 2016. The leaflets touted the fourth testing of North Koreas nuclear bomb. As always, the South Korean government immediately sent military personnel and civilian law enforcement to collect and destroy the leaflets. The first leaflet depicts two mobile missile launchers on parade and the text:
Nobody in the world can stand up to the World's Finest
Revolutionary Warriors of Mount Baekdu
The back of the leaflet depicts an atomic bomb explosion and the text:
The most formidable nuclear power nation has a hydrogen bomb. Within the target range of the Democratic People's Republic of Koreas Army there will be no longer any escape or surviving the bombs. There will no longer be anyone left to sign the documents of surrender. For those invaders, war-mongers and elements against the unification there will be only corpses and deaths.
South Korean Monkey
This leaflet depicts a U.S. soldier with a bag of money leading and controlling President Park who is shown like an organ-grinders monkey. The text in front of Park is:
Restarting the Broadcast attacks
The banners held by people in the background say:
Down with Park Geun Hae
We are against fighting our own countryman
Go home Americans
Ill do anything for you
The next leaflet shows a very odd looking President Obama with what appears to be a demon, but who is of course President Park. The text is:
U.S. President Obama says: She talks well, nobody better to use than her.
South Korean President Park: I'll do anything for you.
Japanese President Abe: Yes, your tongue is very useful indeed. Bark like crazy to grab the world's attention.
This waste brings nothing but disaster for the people!
The back of the leaflet is all text and says:
Park Geun hae, the most deplorable traitor, closes her eyes to the sins of America and Japan which try to annihilate our people from the earth and denigrate the hydrogen bomb tests by the North which will safeguard the future of the people for a million years.
Kill Park Geun hae, who reveres the Yankees and Japs as if they were her own parents clinging to their remaining lives in exchange for the dignity and wellbeing of her own people
The fourth leaflet depicts the North Koreans at one of their enormous celebrations when tens of thousands of people come out and display various signs with patriotic statements. The text is:
Juche Joseon's first hydrogen bomb testing is a complete success.
Our nation now stands proudly as a nuclear power with the new hydrogen bomb weapon.
Our people now possess the greatest nuclear deterrent.
Note: Juche is usually translated as self-reliance, is the official political ideology of North Korea, described by the regime as Kim Il-Sungs original, brilliant and revolutionary contribution to national and international thought. The Korean Joseon Dynasty lasted from 1392 to 1910.
The back of this leaflet depicts a North Korean Inter-Continental Ballistic missile being fired into the sky and the text:
Peace is not possible through entreaties or compromises but only through the gun-barrel of the People's Self-Defense army. Unless the most-vicious and antagonistic American policy is uprooted, there will be no stopping or giving up of nuclear armament even if Hell breaks loose.
On 26 February 2016, thousands more anti-South Korean leaflets fluttered down from balloons over Kangnam, South Korea. Many of the leaflets attacked President Park Guen-hye and refer to the president as being human trash
Ahn Jung Geun
This leaflet is one of the goriest I have seen from the North Koreans. It depicts a Korean sniper at the right, and four dead people at the left, each shot dead center in the head. At first glance I thought this was a North Korean soldier threatening to kill those from the South. Instead, it is a South Korean soldier and he is being asked to turn on his own people. The text is:
Anh Jung Geun said: To give your life for your country is a duty as a soldier.
The four dead people are: Han Min Gu (South Korean Defense Minister), Curtis Scaparrotti, (four-star general in the United States Army, and Commander of United Nations Command Korea), Kim Moo Sung (Saenuri Political Party leader) and Park Geun Hae (President).
Note: Anh Jung Geun was an independence activist who on 26 October 1909 assassinated Ito Hirobumi, a former Prime Minister of Japan and former Resident-General of Korea, following the signing of the Eulsa Treaty, with Korea about to be annexed by Japan. He is still revered by both North and South Koreans. He believed that the bravery shown by killing foreign invaders and treacherous groups would live long in the history of the Korean people. So, the message implies that ROK troops should kill their commanders for the benefit of their country.
Should we shed blood
This leaflet seems similar to the one above in that it also shows a soldier. Looking at the images with no knowledge of the text, one would assume that it is an American soldier holding the sword and riding the donkey, and President Park as the parrot. The text is:
Should we shed blood for subservient pro-American sheep?
As expected, the bird is President Park. She is saying: Sanctions
The American soldier is General Scaparrotti whose knife has written on it: Antagonistic policy against the great Peoples Republic of Korea.
The dog is Han Mingoo, South Korean Defense Minister. His bone has the text at left and right: Pestilence and anthrax.
The donkey is Kim Moosung, leader of the Saenuri Political Party.
The brief text below the soldier says: Salvation Front.
Drop her off the Earth
This leaflet North Korean depicts a horribly ugly woman that we immediately know must be South Korean President Park. The funny thing is that a thumb is shown on the leaflet. You sometimes see this when the finder is holding the leaflet and photographs his thumb, but I have never seen it on the actual leaflet. She is upside down as if the leaflet holder is about to throw her away, and at her left we see the Planet Earth. The text is:
The fact that Park Geun Hae is still left on this Earth is a shame for our people.
Throw that human waste off of this Earth.
I am Waiting for you in Hell
The last leaflet from this series that has been reported showed President Park in the arms of a creature I thought was Death. Instead, it turns out to be her father, Park Chung-hee the former South Korean president and military general who led South Korea from 1961 until his assassination in 1979. He whispers in her ear. In the background that seems to be a fight going on inside a small house. The text is:
At the left her father says: Geun Hae, Are you still here? I am waiting for you in Hell. Hurry up, heh heh.
Beneath President Park is the comment: Human garbage should be sent to Hell immediately.
At their right is an outhouse, called a Cesspool: The house says: Era of Peoples Welfare but the fighting inside is putting that welfare in jeopardy. Some of the writing around the outhouse is: Blue House; Balloon tactics; inheriting father [President Park was elected, but the North Koreans imply she got the job improperly]; Removing the statue of the Comfort woman [Comfort women were Korean woman taken as prostitutes by the Japanese in WWII - a bronze sculpture of a young comfort woman was placed on a sidewalk near the Japanese embassy in Seoul]; Sanctions against the North; Sinking of Sewol ferry [On 16 April 2014, the Sewol sunk on route from Inchon to Jeju in South Korea. The ferry capsized while carrying 476 people]; and Delivery of Anthrax germs [In 2015, the Pentagon mistakenly sent live anthrax to over 65 labs in the United States and also to labs in Japan, South Korea, Australia, Canada and Great Britain].
At the lower right President Park says in regard to her fathers offer to join him: No thanks. I like the cesspool much more.
North Korean Loudspeakers
North Korea apparently inaugurated a novel way to disrupt the messages broadcast from South Korean loudspeakers. North Korea has placed giant loudspeaker banks along their border with the south and pointed them north toward their own population. It is believed that this may be for a sound-masking effect to dilute the content coming from South Korean loudspeakers. The effect is to counter the sound wave by projecting another sound.
The South Koreans Intelligence Service has replied using two radio stations; Echo of Hope and Voice of the People. The latter is interesting in that it is purposely broadcast in a North Korean style, using accents and words that are familiar to the people of North Korea.
On 26 February 2016, South Korea stated its intention to send anti-Communist leaflets across the border into North Korea for the first time in more than a decade. The Leaflets were expected to be sent north about March 2016 when the winds blow in the proper direction. The South Korean military has not officially sent leaflets to the north since 2004. The leaflet campaign is in retaliation to the North Korean leaflet campaign and loudspeaker broadcasting against the South.
South Korean Marines followed by U.S. Marines during Exercise Key Resolve.
On 7 March 2016, North Korea threatened nuclear strikes against the United States and South Korea at the start of the annual military exercises known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle. North Korea says the exercises are rehearsals for a planned invasion by U.S. and South Korean forces. The United States replied that the exercises are strictly defensive in nature. Immediately afterwards, the U.S. Congress passed a sanctions bill and President Barack Obama signed it into law. The North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act ties sanctions to both the regimes nuclear weapons program and its appalling human rights abuses.
South Korea also responded and announced that it will not engage in any financial activities with 40 individuals and 30 organizations, almost all from North Korea. In addition, Seoul said it would ban any ships that have traveled to North Korea in the previous 180 days, effectively terminating a project to deliver coal from a North Korean port to the South.
Even Russia was disturbed at North Koreas threats. Russia warned North Korea that threats to deliver preventive nuclear strikes could create a legal basis for the use of military force against the country.
On 10 March, North Korea test-fired two ballistic missiles that flew about 310 miles and fell into the water. At the same time, the North nullified all inter-Korean cooperative projects and liquidated South Korean assets in the country. Most South Korean assets in the North are in the Kaesong industrial zone. South Korea had already pulled out of the jointly-operated industrial zone in February 2016, after North Korea's latest long-range missile launch of a satellite.
In April 2016, North Korea officially announced that it is blocking Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and South Korean websites in a move underscoring its concern with the spread of online information. The North then began jamming the Global Positioning System with radio waves to disrupt signals from satellites apparently as a form of harassment. Air planes and ships reported the jamming. According to Coast Guard officials in Sokcho, Gangwon Province, 71 out of 332 fishing vessels that went out fishing in the morning on Friday had to return home early due to various errors.
On 6 April 2016, North Korea sent leaflets and compact discs criticizing President Park Geun-hye and the ruling Saenuri Party to South Korea. Police retrieved some 20,000 leaflets and 40 CDs from Goyang, just northwest of Seoul, at around 5 a.m. Earlier in the day, dozens of leaflets criticizing South Korea's military and its joint exercise with the United States were found in central Seoul at around midnight.
On the same day, a group of defectors in South Korea sent 300,000 leaflets with messages criticizing the communist regime and 4,000 sheets of local newspapers over the border from Paju, in Gyeonggi Province.
On 9 May 2016, Kim Jong Un promoted himself to Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea. He was previously the First Secretary of the party. His father, Kim Jong Il, will keep his title of Eternal General Secretary and his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, will remain Eternal President. About 100 foreign journalists had been invited to cover the North Korean Congress, but only 30 were granted entry. The rest were rejected because their stories on the North Korean government were considered not beautiful.
In what may be the first use of civilian drones used to deliver propaganda to North Korea, the group No Chain, said their drones have been delivering SD cards and USB flash drives containing Western and South Korean films, TV shows, music and internet-free access to Wikipedia since early 2015. No Chain and the Human Rights Foundation which funded the campaign have quietly delivered more than 1,000 SD cards and flash drives to the communist country via hexacopter drones. The drones can follow a specified route and drop off their payloads in a specific area.
North Korean Balloons to Seoul
On 30 May 2016, South Korean Soldiers and police were sent to retrieve balloons carrying North Korean propaganda leaflets to Seoul. The retrieval followed a report at 0340 that two large white balloons carrying a box were hung across electrical wires near Yeokchon Elementary School in Eunpyeong-gu. The police retrieved the balloons at about 0700. The box contained 59 CDs, 154 leaflets and 77 envelopes containing dirt and excrement, according to police. Apparently the North Koreans have a group of eager troops on call to rush to the toilet, poop and wipe their butts as part of their very technical ballooning leaflet campaign.
A Damaged Water Tank from North Korean Leaflet bundle in Suwon, south of Seoul
On 1 June 2016, the South Korean government said it plans to revise a law to allow it to provide compensation for any property damage inflicted by bundles of North Korea propaganda leaflets. Under the current law, the government has no legal basis for compensating any property damage caused by bundles of North Korean leaflets, because the scope of damage compensation is limited to civil defense.
On 20 June, Reuters reported that a Cyber Defense curriculum, funded by the Defense Ministry, trains young South Korean soldiers with a free education in Korea University in exchange for a seven-year commitment as officers in the army's cyber warfare unit. The course trains pupils in disciplines including hacking, mathematics, law and cryptography, with students staging mock hacking attacks or playing defense, using simulation programs donated by security firms. South Korea says the North has a strong cyber army which it has blamed for a series of attacks in the past three years. In 2015, South Korea estimated that the North's "cyber army" had doubled in size over two years to 6,000 troops.
On 21 July, North Korea returned to the cold war days of shortwave radio in what seems to be an attempt to confuse or frighten the south. The North broadcast a series of seemingly random numbers on Pyongyang Radio, an eerie reminder of the days when the North encrypted messages to its spies in South Korea, 16 years ago. In the latest episode, an announcer read what she described as a mathematics review assignment for investigative agent No. 27, engaged in a distance learning program for 14 minutes.
Turn to Page 459, No. 35; Page 913, No. 55; Page 135, No. 86 .
In recent years spies from the North received information and orders through steganography, a technique for encrypting a message into a text, image or video file delivered online.
On 22 July, South Korean and US activists balloon-launched hundreds of thousands of leaflets over the border into North Korea, criticizing leader Kim Jong-Un and Pyongyang's latest ballistic missile tests. About 20 activists from the Seoul-based Fighters for Free North Korea (FFNK) and New York-based Human Rights Foundation launched 10 large balloons, carrying 300,000 anti-North leaflets, across the heavily-fortified border. A photo provided by the activists showed a banner attached to one of the balloons reading:
All humanity condemns the nuclear-obsessed Kim Jong-Un who squeezes the blood of his own people to fire rockets!
The following day, one of the balloons was found in the southern waters off Busan. The transparent balloon, 3-meters-long and 1-meter-wide, was first spotted at the Haeundae beach in Busan, at about 9:20 a.m. It crashed into the sea about 25 minutes later. The timer that explodes the balloon and releases the leaflets remained undetonated.
North Korean River-borne Leaflets
On 27 July, North Korea sent plastic bags, each carrying about 20 leaflets, down the Han River. The river flows through Seoul, South Korea's capital city. The leaflets contained threats to launch missile attacks, and the Norths revisionist history of the Korean War where they claim that they won a resounding victory. Some of the leaflets contained messages that claim July 27th, Armistice Agreement Day, as the anniversary of North Koreas victory over South Korea. The North insists it won the war and that the armistice was only reached because the U.N. forces sued for peace.
This is the first time that North Korea used a river to send leaflets and it is probably because the direction of wind isn't favorable in the summer to fly propaganda balloons from north to south.
One leaflet had three-image cartoons describing the North attacking with the Musudan intermediate range ballistic missile because South Korea and the U.S. that have a hostile policy toward the North. North Korean recently warned of unspecified "physical" measures in response to a U.S. plan to deploy an advanced missile defense system in South Korea by the end of next year and recently fired three ballistic missiles into the sea. The leaflet appears to be threatening the U.S. military base in Guam. The leaflet says in part:
North Koreas new revolutionary weapons Hwasong-10 could completely destroy U.S. strategic assets in the Pacific Ocean.
Possibly in retaliation, On 30 July, South Korean military authorities stated that they intend to install about a dozen more propaganda sound systems on the border with North Korea to increase pressure on the regime. Currently, sound systems are set up at 11 locations along the frontline and five to six loudspeaker vehicles ply the roads. The new loudspeakers are so high-powered that their sounds can be heard clearly more than 10 km away. A spokesman said:
We're going to double the numbers of loudspeakers in the demilitarized zone in response to the continued nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.
Thor Halvorssen founded the Human Rights Foundation in New York City. In 2015, with the help of Park Sang-hak, the chairman of Fighters for a Free North Korea, Halvorssen sent propaganda leaflets and USB drives to North Korea on helium balloons. He then sent 1,000 USB drives bearing Korean dramas and films by drones and promises to send the same number in 2016.
On 6 August 2016, The Association of North Korean Defector Organizations ballooned 100,000 leaflets across the border, putting the North Korean leader on a wanted list and offering a 50-million dollar reward for his arrest. The leaflets called Kim Jong Un a murderer and oppressor of the people. The leaflets included color photograph of Kim Jong Un and strong denouncements of his rule. The actual text on the front is:
Reward: 50,000,000 USD
For: Murder and Oppressing the people
This bastard needs to die for the people to live better!
The second page basically called the young Kim Jong Un a Pig and claimed that he is not truly a descendent of Baekdu as the North Korean Royal families like to call themselves. It also claims that he is a crazy dog who is so insane that he had his own uncle killed. The leaflet claims to be from the "Northern Chosen Liberation Front."
The North Korean propaganda outlet Uriminzokkiri issued a warning on Tuesday against acting blindly while distributing anti-North Korea leaflets and promised a rain of fire. Some of their comments were:
Abominable human scum incited by the United States and its South Korean puppets are hell-bent on sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets. We will follow the great leadership of the Workers' Party to resolutely crush the unprecedented policy of death of the hostile power. They who have engaged in a fatal atrocity shall be astonished by our mighty power and progress. We are moving forward as a nuclear superpower and towards the final victory. Political, military pressures, sanctions and containment maneuvers will not shake the state's single-minded unity. A few pamphlets cannot defame the dignity of our republic. No matter where they are hiding [the producers of the leaflets] in the world we will track them down to the end; that is the firm commitment of our army and people.
South Korea activists launch helium balloons on 15 September 2016
On 15 September, South Korean activists launched 150,000 leaflets across the border into North Korea from the border city of Paju denouncing its fifth and largest-ever nuclear test a week earlier and defying threats of retaliation. The leaflets criticized leader Kim Jong-Un for putting nuclear weapons before the wellbeing of his people.
The launch was organized by North Korean defector-turned-activist Park Sang-hak. He said the plan was to launch twice as many leaflets, but strong winds made that impossible. He added:
We are doing this to inform the 20 million starving people in North Korea of the truth. At this moment, when hundreds of thousands of people are suffering from terrible floods, Kim Jong-Un conducted another nuclear test. So, who is calling who human scum?
North Korea's official news agency had described Park as human scum without an equal in the world and said that the balloon launch was a desperate response to the success of last week's test, and a bid by Seoul to stoke confrontation.
A North Korean flyer in the front Yard of the National Assembly
On 4 October 2016, a large number of North Korean leaflets were found in southwestern Seoul. Yeongdeungpo police collected more than 1,300 North Korean flyers that were scattered in the streets of Yeouido. The flyers contained messages criticizing South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her policies on the North. One flyer said:
Park Geun-hye is the maid of the United States and a war maniac. Conversation, not battle. Trust, not distrust. Hold talks between the military authorities of North and South Korea.
Police found more flyers in Yangcheon-gu and Dongjak-gu and suspect that North Korea sent them across the border attached to helium balloons. The flyers will be handed over to the South Korean Army for further investigation.
The N.Y. Times Asia Pacific section of 14 October 2016 featured Lee Min-bok, a North Korean defector who, On days when the wind blows to the north, ventures out with his five-ton truck, hauling a large hydrogen tank to the border with North Korea, an hours drive away. There, he fills dozens of 23-foot and 39-foot barrel-shaped balloons with the gas and lets them drift away.
The balloons carry special payloads: radio sets, one-dollar bills, computer memory sticks and, above all, tens of thousands of leaflets bearing messages that Mr. Lee says will debunk the personality cult surrounding Kim Jong-un, the youthful leader of North Korea. He now launches between 700 and 1,500 balloons a year, each carrying 30,000 to 60,000 leaflets.In South Korea, there are 50 balloon warriors, many of them defectors from the North like Mr. Lee, who seek to breach the wall with leaflets.
On 18 October, The Chosun Ilbo: Daily News from Korea, published an article entitled North Korean Propaganda Leaflets Become Butt End of Jokes. The article said in part:
North Korean propaganda leaflets aimed at fomenting dissent in the South have become a source of rich amusement here, not least because they are so shoddily produced The North has broadcast its own barely audible broadcasts and flown up to 10 million propaganda leaflets to the South. Social media teemed with derisive comments by South Koreans. One blogger said, I saw my first leaflet in 1996 and they haven't changed a bit. The fonts and images are simply horrid, and the propaganda techniques are so childish. A number of North Korean propaganda packages came with the ill-advised addition of compact discs, a future technology that has fallen by the wayside alongside North Korea's notorious vinalon fiber.
On 21 October 2016, South Korean activists floated hundreds of thousands of leaflets across the border into North Korea protesting Pyongyangs recent missile testing efforts in defiance of United Nations sanctions. A total of 300,000 leaflets, along with 2,000 one-dollar bills designed to encourage people to pick them up, were floated over the border in packages attached to large helium balloons.
President Park with Fangs applies War Paint
On 16 November 2016, a number of North Korean leaflets were found scattered around Seoul, South Korea. The leaflets primarily focus on attacking South Korean President Park Guen-hye, other South Korean officials and joint military exercises seen by the North Koreans as being tantamount to acts of war.
One leaflet depicts Park with fangs, dressed in military gear and applying war paint. The war paint shows the names of several key military activities jointly held by U.S. and South Korean forces, which include the so-called decapitation operations targeting the Norths leadership, and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. That is a United States Army anti-ballistic missile system designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles. THAAD was developed as a need to develop missile defense system against Iraq's Scud missile attacks during the Gulf War in 1991. The missile carries no warhead but relies on the kinetic energy of the impact to destroy the incoming missile. Notice that the mirror says, 5015 US. This represents OPLAN 5015, the plans for removing North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and preparing allied troops for a preemptive strike in the event of a North Korean attack. This plan was signed in June 2016, and integrated into the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises. It gives the U.S. command of Korean troops in case of war. The text is written helter-skelter all over the leaflet:
People against people
The smell of domestic gun powder
Cheonan [The boat torpedoed by North Korea]
U.S. Korean-American Plan 5015
Key Resolve [The annual Korea/U.S war exercise]
Korean national war exercise
President Park with fangs and Tears
The back of the leaflet contains a similarly graphic depiction of Park with fangs, with text in tears falling from her eyes and spittle coming out of her mouth. The text is:
Sanctions against the North
An International smell of stink
Humiliation and destruction are the only answers to this war-mongering woman.
[Signed] The Association of People
President Obama with the THAAD System
A second leaflet is also critical of the THAAD deployment decision. It shows U.S. President Barack Obama operating the system with President Park and several key South Korean officials such as the South Korean Defense Minister representing missiles, and says that the South Korean military are toadies and traitors. The vehicle runs over dust clouds labeled Civil rights, etc. The text is:
THAAD Toadyism, Traitor, Disaster
Peoples life, Democracy, Civil rights, Peace.
Errand buys working for Yankee supremacy and treating their own people like dogs and pigs
The People Protest and cut off the heads of Park and her Officials
The back of the leaflet calls for the execution of Park and her clan and shows a mob of anti-American and anti-Park demonstrators and the severed heads of President Park and key South Korean government and military officials at the bottom. The text is:
Kill Park and prevent a war
Stop confrontation, reconciliation, stop disaster, and annihilate the world like dog world
[Signed] The People Lovers Society
The use of dog in Dog world is very odd. I asked my Korean interpreter about this and he said that the Koreans use dog as an insult. Where an American might say stinking world a Korean might say dog world. So, the sentence above says something like annihilate the stinking world. Apparently the North Koreans want a different and better world. Maybe a Communist one?
On 24 November 2016, North Korea sent thousands more propaganda leaflets criticizing President Park Geun-hye over South Korea. Police retrieved some 3,200 leaflets in Incheon, west of Seoul, at around 1 a.m. Besides attacking the president as a witch, the leaflets, seen as part of a broader propaganda campaign against the South, blasted the decision to station an advanced U.S. anti-missile system in the country. Some of the leaflets also slammed U.S. President Barack Obama. Apparently all of the usual North Korean propaganda themes. Law enforcement authorities said they have handed over the leaflets to the military.
The 5,000 Won North Korean Banknote
On 19 December, Dozens of 5,000 won North Korean banknotes with anti-Kim Jong-un slogans written on them were found littering the streets of downtown Hoeryong City. Banknotes with graffiti criticizing Kim Jong-un were also discovered in Pochon County and Chongjin City. Some of the hand-written messages scrawled over the image of Kim Il-sung were:
Overthrow Kim Jong-un
Punish Kim Jong-un
Beside the banknotes, white graffiti was discovered on the walls saying:
Punish Kim Jong-un, the peoples enemy
The First North Korean leaflets of 2017
On 2 January 2017, about 700 North Korean leaflets were found in the western part of Seoul. Two types were found. One shows a North Korean ballistic missile and the text:
A historical moment to show the strength of the self-reliant Chosun [North Korea], the resolve to win at any cost and the determination never to be defeated! The test launch of the land-to-land medium distance strategic ballistic rocket [Hwasung 10] proved to be successful.
The second leaflet depicted the Capital Building in Washington D.C. crumbling and the text:
If ever the imperialist America and the gang of Park Geun-hye start the war, their hideouts will be annihilated from this planet.
On 2 January 2017, about 700 North Korean leaflets were found in the western part of Seoul.
The New Years Crop of Slogan Slips
On 4 January 2017, Hundreds of pro-North Korean leaflets attacking the U.S. and the just-impeached South Korean President Park were found in Seoul. All of the leaflets were small slogan slips in various shades of black, blue and grey and contained text only. These leaflets were found in near Bukhansan, a mountain just four kilometers north of the Blue House, the South Korean presidential residence. The messages were focused on inciting anti-U.S. and pro-North sentiment among South Koreans, a direction that Kim Jong Un has said that South Koreans should head to. The messages were
Depending on the power of a foreign country is the way to a countrys ruination.
Confrontation between same races is the way to self-destruction.
Hang the spiritless traitor Park Geun-hye who only seeks to bring profit to the U.S.
South Koreans suffer from the Zika virus smuggled into Seoul by the U.S.
Stop the THAAD deployment at all cost, the system that is a symbol of submitting to the U.S.
The display of technology through the launching of the Hwasong-10 (Musudan) of the North strikes the world with admiration!
The North has seized the initiative in the DPRK-U.S. competition through the successful launching of the Hwaong-10.
American Yankees maddening Jupiter Plan must be abolished!
Slash the pro-American Park Geun-hye to death, who is sticking on Americas groin and wants to enforce the deployment of the THAAD.
South Korea is not a servant of the U.S.
The BM-25, Musudan missile, is a mobile intermediate-range ballistic missile developed by North Korea. It was first revealed to the international community in a military parade on 10 October 2010 celebrating the Korean Worker's Party's 65th anniversary.
On 25 January 2017, North Korean propaganda leaflets were found in southern Seoul. The leaflets were found at 8:30 a.m. near Dogok Station in the Gangnam district of southern Seoul. The leaflets carried messages that the struggle to transform relations between the two Koreas will continue. No pictures of these leaflets were published.
On 29 January, leaflets were again found in Seoul. Numerous very colorful leaflets were discovered in several locations. In one parking lot 50-75 leaflets were found. Other people out walking noticed the leaflets falling from the sky.
One of the leaflets depicts three cartoon wild dogs representing the enemies of the Northern regime running with a club, a sword and a big battle axe. It reminds me of Korean War propaganda when the enemies of Communism were called "running dogs." The text is:
Destructive behavior of the Stupid Bastards
Blockade Isolation Sanctions
The three dogs are identified as:
Park Geun-hye - Japanese Prime Minister Abe President Obama
The three weapons all have text on them. From left to right:
Reformation of the Constitution
The last line of text at the bottom is:
Anti-North Korean policy
Note: The reformation constitution is a new constitution made by President Parks father to extend the tenure of president.
Enemy Dogs Crushed
On the back of the leaflet the dogs are stomped on by a giant claw. The dogs are punished by North Korea and the claw has the words Hydrogen bomb, Polaris, and Hwasong 10; all the major weapons of mass destruction that North Korea would use against such enemies. The Polaris (KN-11) is a North Korean submarine-launched ballistic missile, called the Pukkuksong-1 (North Star) by Pyongyang. We mention the Hwasong-10 (BM-25, Musudan missile) above; a mobile intermediate-range ballistic missile developed by North Korea. The leaflet title is:
Marching North Koreans carrying placards.
On this leaflet a line of loyal North Korean citizens is depicted marching and holding placards attacking the deployment of the American missile defense system THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense). The text is:
Emergency committee opposed to the THADD in Sungjoo
Placing THADD is a destructive and crazy action harmful to peace in the Korean Peninsula
We strongly denounce the placement of THAAD in Korea
Cancel THAAD which threatens peace and security
The people suffer because of the whore Park Geun-hye
She disregards the people and only works for the benefit of the United States
Note: There was opposition to the anti-missile defense system because some South Koreans thought it might be dangerous. The Korean manufacturer LG had a vacant land that was not occupied and they donated it to the government for the placement of the THAAD system.
A Giant demonstration
The other side of the leaflet shows a giant patriotic demonstration in North Korea. The same image was used a year earlier in a balloon drop on 2 February 2016 (see above). That leaflet bragged about North Koreas successful test of a hydrogen bomb. The new leaflet has additional text at the bottom and the title:
Greatest glory to the beloved and respected Comrade Kim Jong Un
Whitehead Mountain Country
In the 4th Session of the 13th Korean Democratic Peoples Republic Convention in was declared that Comrade Kim Jong Un who glorified the nation as a strong military power as well as the undefeatable ideological power which is the heritage of the great Kim Il Sung and Kim Jung Il to be the head of the Korean Democratic Peoples Republic.
Note: Whitehead Mountain is the highest mountain in Korea. It is revered by some Koreans as a holy place.
There will only be Victory
The last North Korean leaflet we show has a map of Korea with rays emitting outward from the capital of Pyongyang. The text is:
There will only be victory and glory on the road to national unification supported wholeheartedly by the people of the great sunlight.
Upon the 71st anniversary of the liberation of the country we propose to hold a unification meeting of the whole country.
On 10 February, several leaflets were found that attacked the former President and the now disgraced Park Geun-hye. The first depicts her head on the ground. The text is:
Deception - Neglect
Exploitation - Suppression
Merciless beheading to the wicked woman
Kill the venomous snake
The second leaflet shows the disgraced former President with her face distorted. The text is:
Kill the venomous snake in the blue tile house and save the people
Crimes by the worst traitor Park Geon-hye
Sewol ship disaster
MERS outbreak - Removing the statue of the comfort women
Delay of wartime operational control - Oppression of progressive power
Disruption of North South detente - THAAD deployment
Good Job Trump
On 18 February, for the first time a North Korean leaflet featured President Donald Trump and drew attention to the traitors comprising key political positions in South Korea. One leaflet featured Trump and seems to complement him for having President Park Guen-hye fired. South Korean politicians are attacked for being subservient to the U.S. and Japan, Some of the text is:
Balance Scale of toady traitor
Good job Trump Japanese President Abe
Park Geun-hye / I trust you only fighting
Henchmen of the people / Provisional President Hwang Kyo-ahn
The Republic of Korea-United States alliance comes first; then the push for THAAD deployment; and finally an agreement on the Korean comfort women.
The back of the leaflet depicts various South Korean politicians and Ministers in an old fashioned cage and calls for their immediate execution. The text says in part:
Gallows for the Traitors
Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-Se
Minister of unification Hong Yong-pyo
Chief of National Security Office Kim Kuan-jin
Chief of Staff Lee Soon-jin
Minister of National Defense Han Min-goo
President Park Guen-hye
Provisional President Hwang Kyo-ahn
Bring down the toady traitors and execute them!
A third leaflet found at the same time shows various newspaper headlines and the actual autograph of the great leader Kim Il-sung. The text is in part:
Works done by the Comrade Kim Il-sung for the great mission of national unification will never perish
The handwriting of the great leader left by him for national unification
The Labor Press
Three principals for the national peaceful unification left by the great Comrade Kim Il-sung
It is rather odd that with all the talk of Kim wanting a peaceful national unification his actions included an invasion of the South and constant attacks in the south and the digging of tunnels to allow the entrance of North Korean spies, agents and assassins into the South.
There were also a number of short slogan slip leaflets found with the Trump leaflet that promoted Kim Jong Ils February 16 birthday One said:
Be proud! Korea's most important holiday is Kim Jong Ils birthday on February 16th!
A second slip said:
Kim Jong Ils name and image will forever be remembered in the hearts of South Koreans.
Note: Comfort women were Korean women taken by the Japanese and used as sex slaves in military brothels by the Japanese.
Her ship is sinking
On 25 February, leaflets were found that depicted impeached President Park Guen-hye topless and in bed with a man. She waves at a sinking ship in the distance. Some leaflets were written in the South Korean dialect, clearly targeting citizens of Seoul.
On 2 March 2017, South Korean activists said that they will send millions of leaflets about the poisoning murder of the half-brother of the North´s leader across the border by balloon. The leaflets contain details of the murder and pictures including one of a dying Kim Jong-Nam slumped in a chair at a clinic in the airport. The text describes Kim Jong-Un as:
A devil that killed his own brother
A Korean holds a poster identifying Kim Jong Nam as the dead and Kim Jong Un as the murderer. The poster hangs below a leaflet-filled balloon about to be floated over North Korea, The rest of the text says in part:
Ruthless barbarian Kim Jong Un who cruelly murdered his oldest brother, Kim Jong Nam with VX [biochemical weapon] that the world has banned as a weapon of mass destruction.
On 3 March, North Korean leaflets were found in the western city of Incheon. The police retrieved some 810 leaflets near an apartment complex in Incheon, west of Seoul, at around 2am. The leaflets carried messages that criticized the South Korean government, with images of missiles and the national map, according to police. The leaflets were all handed over to the military for a more detailed examination.
On 12 March, the North Koreans had their way and President Park was forced to leave the blue house. She had been impeached on 9 December 2016, but it was only when the Constitutional Court told her to vacate that she finally left. Prosecutors said she conspired with an advisor, Ms. Choi, to collect tens of millions of dollars from big businesses like Samsung, and that some of the money represented bribes for political favors.
Another powerful means of nuclear attack
On 20 March 2017, leaflet depicting the Pukguksong 2-type medium range surface-to-surface missile were found in Seoul. On side depicts the missile in flight and the other side features time lapse scenes of the missile rising. Some of the text is:
Another powerful means of nuclear attack that adds to the strong power of Juche Chosun! The test was a full success.
No one cannot prevent the powerful march of Songun [military-first] Chosun, an invincible military power and a rocket power.
North Korean Leaflets on Incheon
Leaflets fell on 28 March once again. About 6,000 leaflets were found near a tollgate in Incheon, west of Seoul, with messages glorifying North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. On the same day, another 150 were found in the same city, criticizing the annual joint Key Resolve exercise between South Korea and the United States.
Dear Leader Kim Jong Un
On 30 March, North Korean leaflets were again found in Seoul. One featured a foreigner, the Italian industrialist Giancarlo Elia Valori who praised the Dear Leader Kim Jong Un and said: The future of DPRK is eternally bright! Valori visited North Korea in April last year and has reportedly had numerous interactions with the North Korean government since.
Another leaflet depicted Donald Trump kicking three dogs with the faces of South Koreas Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn, Minister of National Defense Han Min-goo, and Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, shouting at them to deploy THAAD right now. To his left is Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, calling the South Korean politicians doomed bastards and urging them to withdraw the comfort women statue, a reference to an ongoing spat between Seoul and Tokyo over a memorial to the hundreds of thousands of Korean women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Empire during World War Two.
South Korean Soldiers Picking up North Korean Propaganda Leaflets Northwest of Seoul
The South Korean military has collected a total of 2,039,898 North Korean leaflets, mostly in Seoul and neighboring Gyeonggi Province, from January 2016 to February this year. Pro-Pyongyang leaflets were collected on 269 days, or 65 percent of all days, during the period. The number of leaflets peaked at 351,809 in January and hit a low of 883 last July. In late March 2017, about 6,000 leaflets glorifying North Korean leader Kim Jong-un were found in Incheon, west of Seoul, while another 150 criticizing an annual joint military exercise between South Korea and the United States were reported in the same port city.
South Korean soldiers collect North Korea's propaganda leaflets found in Gangneung,
On 18 May 2017, about 5,000 North Korea's propaganda leaflets were found near a construction site in Gangneung, a city some 230 kilometers east of Seoul. The leaflets carried messages criticizing former President Park Geun-hye and celebrating the 105th birthday of Kim Il-sung, the late founder of North Korea and the grandfather of Kim Jong-un. Also found with the leaflets were CDs and USBs with content glorifying the North Korean regime.
FINALE - It has become apparent that this propaganda battle will go on forever and also that my Korean translators are exhausted. As a result, I am ending this article on 31 May 2017.
Note: On 17 July 2017, after the election of new President Moon Jae-In in South Korea, the South offered to hold rare military talks with North Korea, aiming to ease tensions after Pyongyang. The South's Defense Ministry proposed a meeting, the first official inter-Korea talks since December 2015:
We make the proposal for a meeting...aimed at stopping all hostile activities that escalate military tension along the land border.
North Korean Anti-American Postage Stamps
On 25 June 2017, as the rhetoric between the United States and North Korea heated up, Kim Jong-un authorized a pair of stamps for the countrys Struggle against U.S. Imperialism. A 30-won stamp features a hand holding a pistol and multiple warheads aimed at the U.S. Capitol. A 50-won stamp depicts a fist crushing a U.S. nuclear missile. North Korea has printed such stamps in the past, a 1969 one attacking Nixon and a 1965 one showing a North Korean grabbing a terrified U.S. soldier who was called a Yankee Bastard.
In early August, new President Moon Jae-In President Moon expressed concerns regarding propaganda leaflets to North Korea as a matter that could prompt accidental clashes, and ordered aides to find ways for clashes to not occur. The president explained past situations in which the North fired anti-aircraft guns towards balloons from the South carrying leaflets and then the South Korean military fired return shots. Moon expressed a considerable amount of concern towards accidental conflicts.
In late 2017, the North Koreans seemed to have less interest in South Korea and more interest in attacking the United States with images on leaflets and posters. They fired rockets, exploded nuclear bombs and basically threatened the existence of the U.S. on an almost daily basis. There are too many to depict here, but I have added four of the more interesting ones. This article was written to explore the PSYOP battle between the two Koreas, but somehow the United States has taken center stage.
You go to war
This leaflet depicts the U.S. Capitol in the crosshairs as North Korean missiles rain down. The text is:
You go to war; we hit the American bastards first
The leaflet is similar to the first and again we see the North Korean missiles and the U.S. Capitol. The text is:
No one can stand in our way!
This leaflet depicts a mobile launcher and tells the Americans that the North Koreans can move their missiles quickly and attack from anywhere. The text is:
No one can stand in our way!
The U.S. imperialists
The last leaflet we depict is more traditional and shows North Koreans beating an American soldier to the ground with their rifle butts. The text is:
The U.S. imperialists should not so carelessly provoke war
Preparing Choco-Pie snacks for balloon launch
This is almost too silly to write about but in a way it is PSYOP. The Moon Pie was originally introduced to South Korea by American soldiers during the Korean War in the 1950s. The treat quickly became popular and in 1974 the South Korean candy company Tongyang Confectionery released their own version: the Orion Choco Pie. In the Kaesong Industrial Zone South Korean companies offered the irresistible Choco Pie to attract North Korean workers. The workers began smuggling them and reselling them at extremely inflated prices on the North Korean black market. According to South Koreas Chosun Ilbo newspaper, a single Choco Pie sells for as much as $9.50 US, more than a worker earns in a week. Embarrassed by the growing popularity of Choco Pie, North Korea banned it as a symbol of capitalism.
An anti-North Korea activist checks chocolates and leaflets denouncing the North's defiant
and costly rocket launch before they release balloons carrying them in Ganghwa, a seaside
border area west of Seoul, on April 24, 2012. The North Korean soldier who defected
through the JSA in November reportedly asked for the Choco Pie snack.
Choco Pie balloon launch
On 15 September 2017, around 200 South Korean activists released 50 massive helium balloons, each toting a large bag of snacks. In total, they sent 770 pounds of snacks to the North. The bulk of this weight came from the 10,000 Choco Pies. Perhaps the way to the North Korean mind is through the stomach.
Although the balloons differ according to mission, the balloons are typically about 3 feet wide and 25 feet long and made of thin translucent plastic. They can carry bundles of thousands of palm-sized leaflets. Simple timers open the bundles after a set number of hours, scattering the leaflets.
North Korean leadership in Pyongyang has condemned the act of sending the Choco pies, and even threatened to shell the launching areas if the South Korean government doesnt stop the activists. Embarrassed by the growing popularity of Choco Pies, North Korea launched a propaganda campaign against the Choco Pie to avoid ideological unrest. According to Daily NK:
The rumour has spread that South Korean authorities have added weird substances to Choco Pies.
North Korea has now banned Choco Pies as a symbol of capitalism.
On 20 September, in what could be a North Korean provocation or hackers trying to confuse U.S. troops and their dependents, fake mobile phone alerts and social media messages advised U.S. military personnel and their families to evacuate the Korean Peninsula.
On 23 September, North Korea attacked President Trump depicting him as a lying Pinocchio. The leaflets were found on a hiking trail near Seoul National University in southern Seoul. The front of the leaflet depicts President Trump with his nose growing long like Pinocchio. The real Pinocchio sits on his nose and comments. The text on the front is:
Ridiculed Pinocchio President
Ugh, telling lies 836 times in six months; four a day average. Hes a worse swindler than me.
Make America Great Again.
Candlelight public sentiment
The back talks about the success of the North Korean missile and attacks Trump:
Hwasung (Mars) 14 - A Success
Super Big Event
Proof of the Capability to Strike the US Mainland
American arm: Impeach
International arm: Against North Korean Sanctions
South Korean arm: Against Terminal High Altitude Area Defense
Isolated and Cornered Imperialism
The Craziness of the Fascist Tyrant
Many of the North Korean leaflets are undated. They are dropped, and then found on the ground days or weeks later. I have dozen of such samples. This one that depicts Trump ranting with his tongue and fingers changing to intercontinental missiles. The text is:>
The Craziness of the Fascist Tyrant
If thousands of people die, they will die in the Korean peninsula. If a war breaks out, it will happen in the Korean Peninsula
The back of the leaflet depicts two strong North Koreans using a stout rope to close Trumps mouth. The text is:
Close Trump's Mouth
Let's punish Trump and kick out the American soldiers.
Some New North Korean Slogan Slips
On 2 October 2017, a number of all-text slogan slip leaflets were found in central Seoul. We show these slips earlier in this article and they usually have just one line of propaganda text. For the most part the leaflets attack South Korean officials and call them lackeys of UY.S. Imperialism.Some of the messages are:
Lets make a strict judgment on the current person in authority who is on the side of the U.S. war racket of invading North Korea.
The current person in authority is a shaggy dog of the U.S., like Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye.
On 4 October, I was contacted by a teacher who worked in the Seoul area. He had been out hiking and found a group of leaflets from North Korea near Hongje Station. He thought that judging by their condition; they were dropped About 2 to 3 October. The four leaflets are depicted below.
Independent North Korea
The first leaflet depicts three photos of North Korean rockets being launched and the back claims that there generals are superior to American generals and will win any war. The text is:
Independent North Korea will win all the battles with complete victory
North Korea who has an ever-winning general will win over imperialist America. It is a scientific fact that North Korea will win.
See the pride
The second leaflet also depicts a North Korean missile being fired on the front and Trump and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the back. The text is:
See the pride of an independent nation with nuclear weapons!
Hokkaido and Guam are now both within range!
Even if a war happens
The third leaflet features a photo of recent protests in the South in opposition to the deployment of the U.S.-made Terminal High Altitude Aerial Defense (THAAD) and on the other side depicts President Trump as a beast. The text is:
All the people should powerfully engage in the anti-U.S. sacred war
The U.S. only considers our people as their cannon fodder and war supplies
Lets get free from them!
Ludicrous statement of the war maniac
Even if a war happens, it will happen on the Korean peninsula, and if thousands die, they will die on the Korean peninsula.
Rage people! This is the real intention of the U.S. clamoring for the blood alliance
North Koreas birthday
The final leaflet depicts the flag of North Korea on the front and its official seal on the back. The text is:
Its North Koreas birthday. The Democratic Peoples Republic of Koreas 69th year
The amazing Kim Il Sung founded North Korea on September 9, 1948. This is the best nation in the world and is a paradise in Earth.
Trump is a sick man
Other leaflets mentioned in news reports depict Trump as a sick man on a hospital bed, with Defense Secretary James Mattis pointing to North Korean missiles heading for the U.S. territory of Guam as well as the mainland and saying:
Your Excellency, the U.S. security is put on emergency alert.
Ready for War
Another leaflet portrays the U.S. as a dying fish on a chopping board, with the words written on the fish and the cutting board:
Decapitation operation, preventive war, preemptive strike, secret operation
Ready for war and sanctions
We will mercilessly devastate with our preemptive strike
Another leaflet features the Pukguksong-2, Hwasong-12, and Hwasong-14 rockets threatening Washington. It uses the same decapitation comment as the fish leaflet, since U.S. and Korean training exercises often mention the decapitation of the Northern leadership in case of war.
If there is a minor sign of decapitation operation, preventive war, preemptive strike and secret operation, we will mercilessly devastate with our preemptive strike
Invaders will never return alive.
This leaflet depicts American aircraft carriers, submarines and American and South Korean soldiers in cross hairs, and criticizes recent joint military drills between the U.S. and the South:
Invaders will never return alive. The U.S. and the puppet group of traitors should not run riot recklessly
We are now safe...
This leaflet attacks the U.S. Forces in Koreas plan to relocate major bases to Pyeongtaek city, Gyeonggi Province by 2018. In the cartoon, a U.S. soldier standing in an area far from the North tells his colleague that Americans are now far from the DMZ. His comrade says OK. South Korean soldiers are unhappy because now they will be the ones to die if war breaks out. The text is:
We are now safe because the new base is far away from the ceasefire
Do they run away for their survival? Do they can get out of the striking range of the Korean Peoples Army?
Only the South Korean armed forces will perish
This leaflet depicts two South Korean soldiers leaving the demilitarized zone; one throws away his helmet and rifle. The text is:
Let the government protect the deathly site
The best way to serve our parents devotedly is to survive and return to our hometown
Leaflet Balloons on their way North
On 10 October, A group of North Korean defectors sent about 300,000 leaflets denouncing Pyongyang's nuclear missile development into the communist nation as the North marked the anniversary of its ruling Workers' Party. Giant balloons were used to send the fliers. Packed together with the leaflets were 2,000 one-dollar bills, aimed at getting more North Koreans to pick up the leaflets, as well as about 300 booklets denouncing Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.
On 15 October, the North Koreans struck again. Curiously, because Russia and China both favored Trump, the American was ignored by Kim after the election. That ended quickly after Trump began criticizing the North Korean leader. In this leaflet found in Seoul, a North Korean soldier smashes Trumps face with his foot. The back of the leaflet depicts the American Capitol Building being destroyed and a North Korea missile.
The text on the front of the leaflet is:
We need to destroy the crazy old man Donald Trump
The text on the back is:
One day later on 16 October North Korea again dropped anti-Trump leaflets. One depicts President Trump as a mad dog being held down while an ax cuts off his head. The text is:
Let's behead mad dog Trump for the future of a peaceful and warless world and mankind!
Another leaflet shows Trump again as a dog, this time standing at a United Nations podium with an atomic bomb like a bone in his mouth, probably alluding to his speech last month where he publicly criticized North Korea and said the U.S. would totally destroy North Korea if needed... North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said the Presidents speech and threats were the sound of a dog barking. The text is:
Mad dog Trump
Will kill 25,000,000 people in North Korea
Destroy North Korea completely
Hes gone completely insane If we let him be there will be war
A sampling of the slogan slips
On 17 October, a number of small 10 centimeter x 2 centimeter slogan slips were sent to the South by North Korea. These usually just have one line of propaganda and no image of any kind. Some of the slogans are:
How pathetic is the government to beg for security assurances from the U.S., which is having problems breathing properly due to its fear of North Korea?
North Korea's fearsome nuclear punch will deliver a stern punishment to ensure that Trump will no longer utter nonsense and resort to unruly behavior
Great Leader Kim Jong-un sternly vows to surely tame the U.S. old lunatic with fire.
US Troops go Home
On 21 October South Korean leftists in Busan held a demonstration and handed these flyers to pedestrians and sticking them on walls and even buses. The illustration depicts a North Korean fist punching an American aircraft carrier and splitting it in two.
Intercontinental missile pins Trump to the ground
On 30 October, North Korean leaflets were found in a Seoul school yard. One depicts an intercontinental missile pinning President Trumps head to the ground. The text is:
Subdue with fire at all costs. Trump is an old beast-lunatic.
The text on the leaflet is an extract from an October statement by Kim Jong Un calling the US president a dotard (the actual wording in Korean means old beast-lunatic). The back of the leaflet is a long all text statement by Kim Jong Un:
As a man representing the DPRK and on behalf of the dignity and honor of my nation, my people and everything I have, I will make the US commander-in-chief pay dearly for wanting to annihilate our republic.
This is not a rhetorical expression of the sort Trump enjoys. Trump will face consequences beyond his imagination. I will subdue the old beast-lunatic with fire at all costs.
Kim Jong Un, Sept. 21, 2017
Trumps lap dog
A second leaflet shows President Moon licking Trump's feet under a beach umbrella. The umbrella says: blood alliance, and: The spirit of the people of the candlelight protests. Moon is identified as a Trumps Lap Dog or "Bitch." The text is:
Before Inauguration: Promises to rid Korea of accumulated evils and visit Pyongyang first, No to U.S.
After inauguration: Goes to Washington first, blindly says yes to U.S. for deployment of THAAD. The Yankees mongrel dog has betrayed the spirit of the candlelight protests.
Behind them an imprisoned former President Park Geun-hye and a nude Lee Myung-bak declare:
Moon is not different from us
On 13 November 2017, North Korean leaflets were found in Seoul once again. The leaflets mostly targeted the South Korean leader Moon Jae-in. Trump is depicted as a beaten man with the South Korean President bringing him food. The title of the leaflet is Maid of the Yankee and calls Moon A mongrel dog.
Ouch, there is no Trump card that can beat North Korea
Trump is surrounded by the words:
Total destruction, preventive war, sanctions, decapitation, fire and fury
Sir, have this and cheer up.
He serves Trump a plate of meat entitled Free Trade Agreement and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense
The back calls Moon a Servant of the Jap and pictures Moon pilling a wagon that is identified as General Security of Military Information agreement. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe holds a sword with the word Reinvasion and a gravestone reading Takeshime, a reference to the disputed Dokdo islands. The leaflet concludes:
Mongrel Moon who is a pro-United States and Japanese traitor who ridicules the public sentiment of candlelight vigils.
The same day another leaflet was found that criticizes the South Korean Presidents policy toward the North, showing a bandaged Moon driving a car without a steering wheel and with the license plate Puppet/marionette. Above him there is a banner that reads Sanctions and pressure simultaneous with dialogue. In a balloon on the right is Trump with a steering wheel, saying OK. Above his head is the label Policy of confrontation.
Two left-wing South Koreans are looking on. The first says: Huh? He's driving without a steering wheel? The other says: That crazy trump has the wheel. The label at the bottom left is for fictitious South Korean group that supposedly printed the leaflet, called, The Anti-War Solidarity.
Lets strictly judge
A third leaflet mocks President Moon, depicting him licking Trumps foot and angry at a protest against the deployment of the U.S.-made THAAD missile defense battery. Some of the text is:
Let the candles rally again!
Drawing closer and closer to foreign powers.
Drawing further and further away from the people.
Cancel THAAD deployment - The spirit of the people of the candlelight protests.
Let us sternly judge the pro-American flunkyist traitor government
The Alliance of People's Movements against THAAD.
North Korean border guard flees across the DMZ to South Korea
South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo speaks as he visits a spot
where a North Korean defected crossing the border on November 13, 2017
In late November 2017, a 24-year-old North Korean border guard named Oh Cheong Seong defected to the south and was shot five times by his fellow guards before he reached freedom. Defections are not unusual since more than 1,000 North Koreans defect to South Korea every year via China, but it is unusual for defectors to cross the land border dividing the two Koreas which is heavily guarded. This story would not be propaganda except for the fact that the South Koreans began using their giant loudspeakers to tell the people of the escape. The broadcasts, transmitted via loudspeakers installed near the Demilitarized Zone, began shortly after news broke of the soldier's defection. Some North Koreans have stated that they made their decision to defect after listening to loudspeaker broadcasts telling of the freedom in the south. Curiously, we mention Moon Pies above and joke about how they are sent north by balloon. As this defector regained his health in the hospital he asked for a Choco pie. Perhaps those leaflet drops work after all.
What Kim Jong-un really fears
Almost every time Park Sang-hak and his group Fighters for Free North Korea send balloons north there are large pictorial banners attached to the balloons. I usually never show them because they are seldom translated and are often difficult to see in total. In this case, 10 propaganda balloons, launched at the border city of Paju toward the North, carried anti-Pyongyang leaflets as well as one thousand U.S. one dollar bills, meant to entice North Koreans. The banners beneath the balloons showed the young dictator and the text:
What Kim Jong-un really fears is 20 million North Korean people getting to know the facts and the truth
On 21 December another North Korean soldier defected south. This was the fourth North Korean soldier to defect across the DMZ in 2017. At the same time, it was believed that some Communist agents were leaving leaflets around American bases and the following warning was posted. Notice that the U.S. Army does not spell propaganda correctly. I do not like the demand that the propaganda not be placed on social media. About half the leaflets that we see come off of Twitter and other social media. Without those informal posts we would have no idea what is going on.
Also on 21 December 2017, a GlobalPost article entitled North Korea bombards South Korea with propaganda leaflets, said in part:
North Korea has switched its printing presses into overdrive and is bombarding South Korea with propaganda leaflets in numbers not seen for decades. More than 2 million of these papers have been found scattered on the streets of the capital and in provinces near the border since the end of 2015 a volume not seen since the 1970s and '80s. Recently recovered flyers come in two sizes: 4.7 inches x 3.5 inches and 4.7 inches x 1.7 inches and are printed on coated, or art paper. The flyers are meant to deceive those who find them by displaying made up names of alleged South Korean organizations an attempt to make them seem more legitimate.
One of the leaflets depicted in the story is:
Yankees and Eunuchs Stirring Up Nuclear War
Nuclear Missiles of the North Protecting Peace
In this leaflet U.S, Defense Secretary James Mattis is depicted flying above pro-American South Korean political figures and giving them bombs like dog biscuits while North Korean soldiers take aim. The back of the leaflet is titled Nuclear Missiles of the North Protecting Peace and depicts a North Korean rocket shooting down Secretary Mattis and the collaborating officials.
I had decided to stop adding North Korean leaflets because it has become exceedingly difficult to get them translated. However, with the coming of the winter Olympics in January, 2018, the North and South have resumed talks and the North has promised to send a delegation south to march in the Olympic parade and compete in the Olympics. Almost to celebrate this amazing change in heart, the North has dropped pro-Olympic leaflets on the South on 4 February 2018 just 5 days before the start of the games. The leaflet depicts the images of Olympic mascots Soohorang and Bandabi; a cartoon white tiger and black bear. The text on the front and back says in part:
Welcome your guests from Pyongyang
Lets go to Kaesong! Lets go to Mount Kumgang!
Welcome greetings to North Korean athletes, cheerleaders, journalists, Taekwondo display team, and performance artists
Let us burn the Olympic light as the light of the unification
Let us accomplish sovereign unification with only our nation being involved!
Note: Kaesong may refer to the now-shuttered industrial park just north of the Demilitarized Zone that separates the North from the South. Kaesong was closed by South Korea in 2016 in protest over North Koreas nuclear and missile programs. Mount Kumgang was a joint tourism venture, mothballed in 2008 after a North Korean guard shot a South Korean tourist there.
Chad OCarroll wrote an article entitled How North Koreas propaganda leaflets are changing in the NK News issue of 21 February 2018. He points out that since the new government of South Korea is more liberal than past governments, the very virulent attack leaflets of North Korea have softened considerably. He also points out that since the shared Olympics instead of threats of death many of the leaflets now are far less political and speak more of reconciliation and economic development. Some of his comments are:
Since early January 2018, leaflets coming to South Korea have drastically changed in tone and design. Similar cartoons in late 2016 complained about the Obama administrations support for the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system to South Korea, as well as in 2017 targeting figures like Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for Tokyos stance on the controversial comfort woman issue, as well as calling for the death of current U.S. President Trump.
The Gate to Reunification
For example, in January leaflets suddenly begun promoting inter-Korean economic cooperation, previous joint inter-Korean declarations, as well as encouraging anti-war sentiment. Others have promoted famous symbols of inter-Korean economic cooperation, like the now-shuttered Kaesong industrial complex and the Mt. Kumgang tour zone. Some found in February have even directly referenced Januarys inter-Korean talks and highlighting the great door of unification. In addition, the style used for many has changed, no longer featuring crude and antagonistic cartoons.
An Olympic Leaflet
With the arrival of the Olympics in South Korea and the invitation to the North Koreans to join their southern brothers, leaflets have been found that show scenes from the Olympics and talk of the great reunification. The leaflet above depicts a South Korean sportscaster on television, the Olympic torch, clasped hands and various athletes. Other leaflets depict images from South Korean TV news, as well as more locally recognizable cartoon depictions such as of the Pyeongchang Olympics mascots.
Apparently the South has returned the favor. South Korean officials have admitted that they no longer use the name of Kim Jong Un in their propaganda broadcasts. The South Korean military received a guideline that suggested they not broadcast Kim Jong Un-related content as there was no reason to provoke North Korea unnecessarily.
New Anti-American slogan slips
We have mentioned slogan slips in the past. These are small leaflets with no pictures or images, just a short sentence than can be easily read by a passerby even if the leaflet is not picked up. On 22 March 2018, a number of the small slips fell on South Korea in east Seoul near the Han River. There have been discussions about President Donald Trump meeting with Kim Jong Un, and it is believed that the American will ask that the North rid itself of all atomic weapons. The North seems to have done a preemptive strike in these leaflets since many applaud their nuclear program. Some of the messages are:
If the U.S. wants to protect the safety of their territory, they must cooperate with the north.
Bankrupt the U.S. weapon of mass destruction policy with the norths completed nuclear weapon!
Denounce the U.S. for driving a cloud of fire of nuclear war and intensifying the situation on the Korean peninsula.
South Korean people; let us arouse the public awareness of the U.S. making mischief by attempting to ruin the major event of the Korean peninsula.
Similar leaflets were found in Yongsan-gu, in southern Seoul, attacking the South Koreans government for having thanked the U.S. President for his support in achieving inter-Korean dialogue.
The nerve they have to thank Trump, when they cannot even acknowledge the Norths magnanimous generosity. What kind of fatuous nonsense is that?
Government, stop saying nonsense about how your family business goes well thanks to the support of others.
On 26 March 2018, it was reported that handwritten leaflets have been found, and graffiti has been seen on the walls of train stations and other public places in some of North Koreas main cities that say: Kim Jong Un is a Son of a Bitch. The authorities have already investigated more than 20,000 citizens' handwriting trying to identify the culprit. Curiously, that reminds me of the movie World War Z, where there is an epidemic of zombies throughout the world. In the movie the question arises: What is North Korea doing about the infestation? The answer aroused some laughter: They pulled the teeth all 23 million people in less than 24 hours...The greatest feat of social engineering in history, No teeth, no bite? No more spread.
On 6 April 2018, disgraced former President Park Geun-hye was sentenced to 24 years in prison and fined almost $17 million dollars. Park was impeached by lawmakers in December 2016 following months of massive street protests. A criminal trial was launched in May 2017, and Park was found guilty of 16 corruption-related counts, including bribery, coercion and abuse of power. Park Geun-hye is not the only former South Korean president to face criminal charges. Her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, was previously arrested on a raft of corruption allegations, including bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion. Two former presidents were convicted of bribery and treason in 1996, but were both pardoned a year later.
In early 2018, the Rand Corporation published a report titled Low-Cost Options for Airborne Delivery of Contraband into North Korea written by Richard Mason. Most of the report discusses the distance the balloons travel. The amount of literature they can drop, the accuracy, and other options. Some of Masons Comments are:
In the last decade, a number of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)many led by North Korean defectorshave taken up launching hydrogen balloons into North Korea. These groups include the North Korean Christian Association, the Campaign for Helping North Koreans in Direct Way, the Fighters for Free North Korea, the North Korea Peoples Liberation Front, North Korea Peace, and Voice of the Martyrs.
In addition to leaflets, various NGOs also send money, noodles, Choco Pies, medicine, socks, small radios, and video discs and flash drives loaded with South Korean movies and television shows. Christian groups send religious tracts, Bibles, and marshmallow Peeps. Both mechanical timers and chemical timers are said to be employed to drop the payload after three to four hours. Leaflets are sometimes printed on vinyl to reduce their weight and make them resistant to moisture. A typical balloon is said to carry up to 60,000 vinyl leaflets the size of a postcard.
Since 12 January 2016, North Korea has been sending its own leaflets by balloon. The North Korean balloons carry about 10,000 leaflets each, denouncing the U.S. and South Korean governments and demanding that South Korea halt propaganda broadcasts into North Korea.
South Korean soldiers dismantle a loudspeaker system on the DMZ
On 22 April 2018, South Korea stated that it would no longer broadcast propaganda messages along the border with North Korea. The South and North are planning to meet as a prelude to a June 2018 meeting between Kim and President Trump with the possible end of the Korean War a likely subject. The war never officially ended and in theory, the United States has been at war with North Korea since 1950. Seoul's Defense Ministry said in a statement that it had halted the broadcasts with the aim of reducing military tensions between the South and North and creating the mood of peaceful talks.
On 27 April, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to end hostile acts against each other, establish a liaison office and resume reunions of separated families. They also agreed to achieve a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. South Korea had already turned off its loudspeakers ahead of the summit talks, and North Korea responded by halting its own broadcasts. On 30 April, South Korea said that it would immediately remove propaganda-broadcasting loudspeakers from the border with North Korea. Kim stated that he would be willing to give up his nuclear programs if the United States committed to a formal end to the Korean War and a pledge not to attack the North.
On 2 May, North Korea released three US citizens who had been held prisoner. The releases met one of the Trump administrations conditions before President Trump would meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The three citizens: Kim Dong-chul; Kim Sang-duk; and Kim Hak-song were freed from a labor camp and given health care and ideological indoctrination in Pyongyang.
On 5 May 2018, perhaps for the first time, the South Korean government stopped protestors from sending balloons to the north from Paju, Gyeonggi, just south of the inter-Korean border. The group had prepared 150,000 leaflets, 1,000 one dollar bills and 500 booklets authored by a defector on South Korea's dramatic rise from the ashes of the 1950-53 Korean War. The launch was eventually called off as 300 police blocked the truck carrying the balloons from entering the site.
To read more about wartime and postwar propaganda to the Korean peninsula, please click here.
The authors encourage any readers with comments or additional information on this article to write to Sgmbert@hotmail.com.