NorthKoreanFlag.jpg (6767 bytes)    XSouthKoreaFlag.jpg (12223 bytes)

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.


Basic Objectives and Directions

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.

kimjongil.jpg (98324 bytes)

Kim Jong-il

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.

United States Army Captain Jeremy S. Mushtare wrote about Kim Jong-il in his 2005 Naval Post Graduate school thesis PSYOP in Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations: Preparing for Korean Reunification:

Although he was really born outside of North Korea, the story surrounding Kim Jong-il’s birth has been revised into a dramatic tale taking place on the peak of Mount Paektu, the tallest mountain within either of the two Koreas. To further glorify the event it was added that, "The sky was brightened by a star and a double rainbow." Other no less exaggerated tales insist that he "wrote over 1,000 books during college alone."

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.

CheonanShip.jpg (105340 bytes)

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.

The South Koreans had been sending food to North Korea along with propaganda for many years. Reports as early as 2011 stated that North Korean soldiers were burying propaganda packages sent by South Korean activists in ant-infested soil to determine whether the attached food was poisoned.

North Korean soldiers have developed a way to determine whether the food that got carried over to North Korea along with propaganda leaflets from South Korea is poisoned by digging the ground a little bit, putting the food there, and waiting to see whether ants congregate around the food or not.

In the early 1990s, the North Korean regime claimed that emergency relief packs and propaganda leaflets from the South contained poison and should not be touched. However, many North Koreans soon figured out that food was not poisoned. The regime then changed the story, saying that food from South Korea did not kill immediately but slowly, by inducing continuous vomiting and diarrhea. But the soldiers developed this new way to ascertain whether the food is safe, according to Open Radio for North Korea.

dmzwaiver2.jpg (242717 bytes)

DMZ Waiver

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.

SouthKoreaLS001.jpg (50314 bytes)

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.

MobileBroadcastTruckKorea.jpg (14792 bytes)

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 Kim’s 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 family’s propaganda songs. Advertisement about Samsung’s latest Galaxy phone or Coca Cola’s newest partnership for limited edition cans with Riot Games demonstrates South Korea’s rich and prosperous middle-class to North Koreans. Add on Pyongyang’s 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 Korea’s ability to effectively erode North Korea’s Ministry of Propaganda and Agitation’s multi-decade monopoly on information is something that irritates Pyongyang beyond belief.


KoreaPropBalloonLaunch001.jpg (39264 bytes)

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,
I’m your genie, your dream, your genie.

20SepBalloonLaunch.jpg (26692 bytes)

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?

NKHydrogenBombExplosion.jpg (84891 bytes)

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 North’s 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 enemy’s 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.

NorthKoreanLeafletJan16.jpg (49402 bytes)

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 North’s recent nuclear test. The North’s 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.

NorthKoreanLeaf2Jan16.jpg (72270 bytes)

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.


ProstituteParkNKleaf.jpg (86069 bytes)

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.

ProstituteParkNKleafB.jpg (88336 bytes)

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.

MoreNorthKoreaLeafletsJan2016.jpg (108141 bytes)

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.

InsaneRamblingsNKorea.jpg (37380 bytes)

Insane Ramblings…

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.

DogBarksNK.jpg (66146 bytes)


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.

NKultimatumKoreaLS.jpg (212683 bytes)

If the Dog Barks…

Warning! If the dog barks, we shall beat it down mercilessly.

DreadfulTragediesWarmonger2.jpg (144140 bytes)

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

NorthKoreanSloganSlip1.jpg (26194 bytes)

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 Mountain’s great nation does not know empty threats. Should the Americans and their followers provoke the spark of war, than Baekdu Mountain’s gun barrel will blow up all our foes.

Don’t get caught up with bitch Park Geun Hye’s 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.

NKFeb2016dropSeoul.jpg (131698 bytes)

The 2 February North Korean Leaflet Drop

NK2MissileLaunchers.jpg (53920 bytes)

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 Korea’s 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

MMLLeafletKoreaback.jpg (96485 bytes)

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 Korea’s 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.

NKSouthKoreaMonkeyLeaf.jpg (61920 bytes)

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-grinder’s monkey. The text in front of Park is:

Dropping leaflets

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

IllDoAnythingDemonNK.jpg (60497 bytes)

I’ll 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

NuclearDeterrentLeafNKFeb.jpg (57235 bytes)

Nuclear Deterrent.

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-Sung’s “original, brilliant and revolutionary contribution to national and international thought.” The Korean Joseon Dynasty lasted from 1392 to 1910.

NuckearDeterrentBackNK.jpg (125480 bytes)

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”

AhnJungGeunLeaf.jpg (140346 bytes)

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.

ParrotDonkeyDog.jpg (146620 bytes)

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 People’s 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.

DropHerOfftheEarth.jpg (172892 bytes)

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.

WaitingInHellNKorea.jpg (151676 bytes)

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 People’s 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 father’s offer to join him: No thanks. I like the cesspool much more.

NorthKoreaLoudSpeakers4.jpg (47067 bytes)

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.

OperationKeyResolveKorea.jpg (76356 bytes)

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 regime’s 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 Korea’s 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.

KoreanLeaflets6April2016.jpg (32256 bytes)

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.”

MultipleAerialDrones.jpg (102273 bytes)

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.

NKBalloons30May2016.jpg (148493 bytes)

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.

WaterTankDamage.jpg (17706 bytes)

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.

NKRiverborneLeaflets.jpg (209315 bytes)

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 North’s 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 Korea’s 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 Korea’s 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.

RewardKimJungUn080616.jpg (72209 bytes)

$50,000,000 Reward

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.

ProtestKimJongUnNuclearTest.jpg (110681 bytes)   SouthKoreaLeafletBalloonSep2016.jpg (48277 bytes) 

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.”

LeafletinFrontNationalAssembly.jpg (85337 bytes)

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.

LeeMinBokBalloonRelease.jpg (67629 bytes)

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 hour’s 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 Pyongyang’s 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.

ParkFangsWarPaint.jpg (56082 bytes)

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 North’s 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
President Park
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

ParkFangsTears.jpg (66567 bytes)

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

ParkObamaThaad.jpg (63748 bytes)

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

People’s life, Democracy, Civil rights, Peace.

Errand buys working for Yankee supremacy and treating their own people like dogs and pigs

ParkCutOffHeads.jpg (79470 bytes)

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
Resume talks
Stop confrontation, reconciliation, stop disaster, and annihilate the world like dog world
[Signed] The People Lover’s 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?

24Nov16Leaflets.jpg (81433 bytes)

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.

5000WonNKoreaBanknote.jpg (93754 bytes)

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 people’s enemy

1stNKoreaLeaflets2017.jpg (163080 bytes)

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.

NewYearNKSloganSlips2017.jpg (38807 bytes)

The New Year’s 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 country’s 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 America’s 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.

NKLeaf19Jan1701aa.jpg (117203 bytes) 

Enemy dogs

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 Park’s father to extend the tenure of president.

NKLeaf29Jan1703.JPG (164320 bytes)

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:


NKLeaf29Jan1701bb.jpg (91471 bytes)

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
Against THAAD
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.

NKLeaf29Jan1702.JPG (121504 bytes)

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 Korea’s 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 People’s 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 People’s Republic.

Note: Whitehead Mountain is the highest mountain in Korea. It is revered by some Koreans as a holy place.

OnlyBeVictoryNK.jpg (118861 bytes)

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.

MercilessBeheadingNKLeaf.jpg (77621 bytes)

Merciless Beheading…

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

Betrayal – Confrontation

Merciless beheading to the wicked woman

VenomousSnakeNKLeaf.jpg (21415 bytes)

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

FirstTrumpLeafletNK.jpg (112153 bytes)

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.

FirstTrumpLeafletNKB.jpg (131379 bytes)

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!

KimIlsungLeafLaborPress.jpg (30040 bytes)

Kim Il-sung

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

Kim Il-sung

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.

SloganSlipsNK18Feb2017.jpg (98677 bytes)

Slogan Slips

There were also a number of short “slogan slip” leaflets found with the Trump leaflet that promoted Kim Jong Il’s February 16 birthday One said:

Be proud! Korea's most important holiday is Kim Jong Il’s birthday on February 16th!

A second slip said:

Kim Jong Il’s 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.

HerShipIsSinkingParkNK.jpg (64982 bytes)

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.

NKDefectorLaunchesBalloon.jpg (32739 bytes)

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 NorthĀ´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

NKLeafletTheMurderer.jpg (76303 bytes)

The Murderer

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.

anotherpowerfulmeansnukeF.jpg (104220 bytes)  anotherpowerfulmeansnukeB.jpg (107350 bytes)

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.

NKLeafletInchon28Mar2017.jpg (66353 bytes)

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.

DearLeaderKimJongUn.jpg (56857 bytes)

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 Korea’s 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.

ROKSoldiersPickUpNKLeafNWSeoul.jpg (184136 bytes)

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.

ROKcollectNKLeafletsGangneung,.jpg (44830 bytes)

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.

NKAntiAmericanStampsB.jpg (338792 bytes)  NKAntiAmericanStampsF.jpg (253620 bytes)

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 country’s “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.

North Korea decides that the United States is the true enemy

NKDecidesUSRealEnemy.jpg (85777 bytes)

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.

YouGoToWarAmerBas.jpg (109341 bytes)

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

OurAnswerNorthKorea.jpg (99770 bytes)

Our answer!

The leaflet is similar to the first and again we see the North Korean missiles and the U.S. Capitol. The text is:

Our answer!

NoOneCanStandNK.jpg (77648 bytes)

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!

USImperialistsNK.jpg (120817 bytes)

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

The Moon Pie War

ChocoPieWar001.jpg (344928 bytes)   ChocoPieWar003.jpg (244218 bytes)

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 Korea’s 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.

ChocoPiesandLeafletsPhoto.JPG (46850 bytes)

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.

ChocoPieWar007.jpg (96189 bytes)

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.

ChocoPieWar004.jpg (12236 bytes)

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 doesn’t 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.

NKTrumpPinnochioLeafF.jpg (179744 bytes)

NKTrumpPinnochioLeafB.jpg (194610 bytes)

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. He’s a worse swindler than me.

Eccentric Villain

World Domination
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

Poor Trump

TrumpTyrant.JPG (359829 bytes)

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

CloseTrumpsMouth.jpg (314139 bytes)

The back of the leaflet depicts two strong North Koreans using a stout rope to close Trump’s mouth. The text is:

Close Trump's Mouth

Let's punish Trump and kick out the American soldiers.

NewNKSloganSlipsX01.jpg (52728 bytes)

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:

Let’s 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.

IndependentNKFront.jpg (142163 bytes)

IndependentNKBack.jpg (151374 bytes)

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.

SeeThePridetNKFront.jpg (103645 bytes)

SeeThePridetNK.jpg (144526 bytes)

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!

EvenIfWarHappensNKFront.jpg (168692 bytes)

EvenIfWarHappensNKBack.jpg (187343 bytes)

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
Let’s 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

NKBirthdayLeafFront.jpg (123810 bytes)  NKBirthdayLeafBack.jpg (151114 bytes)

North Korea’s birthday

The final leaflet depicts the flag of North Korea on the front and its official seal on the back. The text is:

It’s North Korea’s birthday. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s 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.

TrumpIVNK.jpg (189766 bytes)

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.

DeadFishNKLeaf.jpg (40801 bytes)

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

NKLeaf004Leafletjpg.jpg (166450 bytes)

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

NKLeaf003ALeafletjpg.jpg (171817 bytes)

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

SoldiersOKNK.jpg (72004 bytes)

We are now safe...

This leaflet attacks the U.S. Forces in Korea’s 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 People’s Army?

Only the South Korean armed forces will perish

TruceLineNK.jpg (59993 bytes)

Truce Line

This leaflet depicts two South Korean soldiers leaving the demilitarized zone; one throws away his helmet and rifle. The text is:

Truce Line

Let the government protect the deathly site

The best way to serve our parents devotedly is to survive and return to our hometown

HugeballoonLaunch.jpg (186410 bytes)

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.

NKKillTrumpLeafF.jpg (121248 bytes)  NKKillTrumpLeafB.jpg (84002 bytes)

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 Trump’s 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:

Complete Extermination

We need to destroy the crazy old man Donald Trump

The text on the back is:

Chosun’s Answer

MadDogTrumpF.jpg (158187 bytes)

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!

MadDogTrumpB.jpg (68482 bytes)

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 President’s 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

He’s gone completely insane – If we let him be there will be war

SloganSlipsOct2017.jpg (69349 bytes)

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.

USTroopsGoHomeDotards.jpg (59820 bytes)

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.

MissileHitsTrumpLeafNK.jpg (66649 bytes)

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 Trump’s 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

.TrumpGettingFootLickedF.jpg (45488 bytes)

 TrumpGettingFootLickedB.jpg (48586 bytes)

Trump’s 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 “Trump’s 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

13Nov17NKoreaB.jpg (51742 bytes)

13Nov17RickshawNK2.JPG (64017 bytes)

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.”

Trump says:

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

Moon says:

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.

13Nov17Subservient.jpg (33898 bytes)


The same day another leaflet was found that criticizes the South Korean President’s 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.

13Nov17StricllyJudge.jpg (108018 bytes)

Let’s strictly judge…

A third leaflet mocks President Moon, depicting him licking Trump’s 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.

ClintEastwoodGBU.JPG (55907 bytes)

Clint Eastwood is pictured in 1966 film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

On 17 November 2017, South Korea seemed to show a sense of humor as they began blasting the Spaghetti Western tune from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly across the DMZ to mock Kim Jong-un’s stand-off with Donald Trump. The music led the listeners to imagine the two men facing each other with six-guns across a dusty western town.

NKDefector13Nov17.JPG (272630 bytes)

North Korean border guard flees across the DMZ to South Korea

DefMinSongYoungmoo.jpg (553044 bytes)

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.

WhatKimJongunFears.jpg (37565 bytes)

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

NKPropFightTonight.jpg (123548 bytes)


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:

 YankeesandEunuchsStirUpWar.JPG (211365 bytes)

Yankees and Eunuchs Stirring Up Nuclear War

NuclearMissilesofNorthProtectPeaceB.jpg (213981 bytes)

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.


The Decapitation of Hwang Kyo-ahn

A drawing on one side of this leaflet depicts former South Korean leader Park Geun-hye cowering atop the presidential Blue House and on the opposite side, the gruesome decapitation of then-Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn.

History of an Old Pervert

This leaflet depicts former president Park Geun-hye with cult leader Choi Tae-min, a man she was rumored to have had an affair with decades ago. Park says: "I'm pregnant"¯ and Choi responds: "Raise him as the son of Yushin, the political ideology of her father, Park Chung' hee," the late South Korean leader.

NKPropOlympics2018.jpg (74958 bytes)

Pro-Olympic leaflet

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

Let’s go to Kaesong! Let’s 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 Korea’s 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 O’Carroll wrote an article entitled “How North Korea’s 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 administration’s 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 Tokyo’s stance on the controversial “comfort woman” issue, as well as calling for the death of current U.S. President Trump.

GateofReunificationNK.jpg (87278 bytes)

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 January’s 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.

OlympicLeafletNK.jpg (308885 bytes)

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.

AntiAmericanNKSlogan01.jpg (50817 bytes)

AntiAmericanNKSlogan02.jpg (54282 bytes)

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 north’s 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 North’s 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 Korea’s 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 Mason’s Comments are:

In the last decade, a number of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)—many led by North Korean defectors—have 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 People’s 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.

SKDismantleLS.jpg (172504 bytes)

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 administration’s 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.

CuetheDovesNK.jpg (50947 bytes)

Nix the Nuclear Warheads; Cue the Doves
North Korea's new posters depict unity and prosperity.

On 23 June, it was reported that the North Korean government was erasing much of its anti-U.S. propaganda following Kim Jong-un’s forays onto the world stage. Gone are the posters depicting the U.S. as a “rotten, diseased, pirate nation” and promising "merciless revenge" on American forces for an imagined attack on the totalitarian country. In their place are cheery messages touting praising the prospects for Korean reunification and the declaration Kim signed in April with South Korean President Moon Jae-in promising "lasting peace." All the anti-American posters usually hung around Kim Il-sung Square and at shops are gone. They just disappeared overnight. Like 1984, the regime changed its tune and everyone listened and immediately fell in line behind the new truth.

On 25 June 2018, South Korean officials banned the launching of balloons carrying Bibles because it does not want to do anything to disrupt the progress of peace talks. The court ruled that, although South Korean citizens are guaranteed freedom of expression under the nation’s constitution, the freedom "is not unlimited and the state can restrict it when necessary for the assurance of national security, order maintenance, or public welfare." The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) sends Bibles to nations where the Word of God is restricted. They have been sending copies of the New Testament across the border into North Korea using specially-made, helium-filled balloons since 1991. Some of the balloons are small, self-contained packages. Others are larger with as many as 20 soft-covered Bibles and MP3 players containing audio Bibles suspended in packages below.

NKSKHandshake.JPG (33430 bytes)

Has There Been a Thaw in the Inter-Korean Radio War?

On the Radio World website, Hans Johnson asked "Has There Been a Thaw in the Inter-Korean Radio War?" He seems to say "no" to his own question. He said in part:

There is a history of cross-Korean border broadcasts and jamming FM, AM and shortwave going back decades. Jamming has also been used by both sides in all of these bands and usually consists of some sort of noise jamming. These stations’ purpose is to influence the other side, and the jammers seek to prevent that influence from taking root. Monitoring, particularly of the widely heard shortwave services, will indicate if stations have been shut down or if there is a decrease in jamming. Such monitoring does have its limitations, even in a world with many remote receivers, especially with regards to FM. North Korea presents its own special challenges. Apparently due to power shortages, the country is not always able to transmit on every listed frequency, nor able to jam them. So an absence of either activity might be due to lack of electricity rather than a change in policy. Also, North Korean transmitters in poor condition are sometimes heard, apparently due to inability to repair such emitters.

There are four stations reportedly operated by South Korea’s National Intelligence Service: Echo of Hope and Voice of the People are on shortwave only and operate on a number of frequencies. They remain on the air and continue to suffer from North Korean jamming. Both the AM station, Radio Free Korea and the Freedom FM Radio appear to still be available as well. For the moment, the Koreas appear to be limiting the predicted “broadcast thaw” to loudspeakers and leaflets. Such bans on loudspeaker broadcasts are not unprecedented, nor is their eventual resumption. Only time will tell if the thaw will expand to include inter-Korean radio broadcasts and jamming, or if the countries will return to their old, cold behavior.

Usually, when North Korea parades its military might all the newest and largest rockets are displayed. Perhaps, because of the Trump-Kim relationship, the 9 September 2018 70th anniversary celebration was more peaceful in nature. North Korea did display some of its latest tanks and marched its best-trained units in a major military parade to mark its 70th anniversary, but held back its most advanced missiles and devoted nearly half of the event to civilian efforts to build the domestic economy. The strong emphasis on the economy underscores leader Kim Jong Un's new strategy of putting economic development front and center.

The South reciprocated on 28 September when the ruling Democratic Party proposed an amendment that would prohibit sending anti-regime leaflets to the North without prior approval from the unification minister. In the proposal, the lawmakers noted the South Korean government is currently unable to formally prohibit flying anti-Regime leaflets and items to the North. Approval from the South Korean Minister of Unification is required to take out or bring goods, and individuals can face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to US $27,079 should they break the law.

SouthKoreanPostcardtoKim.jpg (40092 bytes)

South Korean Postcard to Kim

As relations between North and South Korea continued to thaw in late November 2018, the citizens of Seoul were asked to prepare a warm welcome in the event that Kim Jong Un decided to show up at the Inter-Korean Summit on the Korean Peninsula. Messages collected by the Seoul Citizen Welcome Committee were collected to present to Kim. Postcards were sent to business people at their offices asking them to write on the back of the card. The text on the cards is:

Please write a welcome message on the front of the postcard for Kim Jong Un’s visit for the Inter-Korean Summit on the Korean Peninsula.

We will collect your heartfelt messages and deliver them to the summit. You can also take a photo of the postcard and send it to the Seoul Citizen Welcome Committee.

Related updates will be posted on the Seoul Citizen Welcome Committee’s homepage and also relayed to the applicants.

OldEnemiesShakeHandsK.jpg (46595 bytes)

Old Enemies Shake Hands
Getty Images

In December 2018, North and South Korean soldiers made several friendly crossings into each other's territory for the first time since the countries were divided. The men were checking the dismantling of guard posts in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) along the border as part of the two sides' recent rapprochement. Since November, both North and South have blown up or dismantled 10 of their border posts. The soldiers shook hands at the border before crossing.

LetsEradicateMilHostility.jpg (32167 bytes)

Let’s eradicate military hostility…

After a long period of no progress between the United States and North Korea, the north produced a new poster in January 2019. The poster depicted hands releasing doves of peace in the general form of the Korean Peninsula. In his 2019 New Year’s Address, Kim said this goal of peace was the country’s “steadfast will,” and elaborated upon the demands for removal of U.S. military presence in South Korea, without specifically mentioning the U.S. or other nations involved in joint military drills. The text on the poster is:

Peace and Prosperity.

Let’s eradicate military hostility between north and south and make the
Korean peninsula a durable and lasting peace zone!

After several months of inactivity, on 25 June 2019, the group of North Korean defectors, Fighters for a Free North Korea, flew 20 balloons carrying 500,000 leaflets from Inchon, west of Seoul marking the 69th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1950-53 Korean War. The balloons carried leaflets slamming the North's late founder, Kim Il-sung, as well as 2,000 one-dollar bills, 3,000 USB drives and 500 booklets. The Seoul government has urged local activists to stop their leaflet campaigns, saying that they go against efforts to reduce tensions and improve ties with the North. The group said it will continue to send such leaflets until the Kim Jong-un regime ends its nuclear threat against the international community. A month later on 20 July, the same group claimed to have sent another 20 balloons carrying 500,000 leaflets from Yeoncheon, north of Seoul. These balloons carried leaflets denouncing Kim Jong-un, as “the most brutal hereditary dictator in the 21st century,” as well as 2,000 one-dollar bills, 1,000 USB drives and 500 booklets.

Although it has nothing to do with PSYOP, I thought the readers might be interested in the number of North Koreans who are motivated (perhaps by South Korean propaganda) to defect. On 2 July 2019, the Yonhap News Agency reported that the number of North Koreans who defected to South Korea during the first half of 2019 totaled 546. The figure was up from 487 recorded during the same period a year earlier. The annual number of North Korean defectors peaked in 2009 with 2,914. The figures have averaged around 1,000-1,500 since North Korean leader Kim Jong-un took power in late 2011. Currently, more than 32,000 North Korean defectors are living in South Korea.

StampTrumpKim.JPG (162150 bytes)

In a propaganda action which could show that North Korea seeks friendship with President Trump, or could show that the North Korean leader hopes to win greater public support for his regime, a set of stamps was released on 12 June 2019 by the North Koreans featuring the one-year anniversary of the two leaders’ Singapore summit. One stamp shows the first Trump-Kim handshake, while another shows the two signing a joint agreement after the historic meeting. A third stamp depicts the actual agreement along with the flags of North Korea and the United States. It is rumored that additional stamps are on the way, this time centered on Trump’s “lightning meeting” with Kim in June at the DMZ, the heavily fortified border between North and South Korea, where he became the first US president to step into North Korea.

On 7 September 2019, the Fighters for a Free North Korea flew balloons carrying 500,000 leaflets from Paju, north of Seoul, into North Korea ahead of the communist nation's 71st founding anniversary. The balloons carried leaflets slamming the Kim family's hereditary rule and current leader Kim Jong-un's dictatorship, as well as 1,000 one-dollar bills, 1,000 USB drives and 500 booklets.

On 21 October 2019, a group of North Korean defectors sent anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the inter-Korean border, condemning the communist nation over a recent World Cup qualifier held between the two Koreas. Fighters for a Free North Korea released balloons carrying 500,000 leaflets from Gimpo, west of Seoul, criticizing the North over the inter-Korean match held in Pyongyang last week with no fans, journalists or live broadcasting allowed. The group also placed 2,000 one-dollar bills, 1,000 USB drives and 500 booklets inside the balloons.

On 11 November it was reported that the superstitious people of North Korea had somehow determined that having a South Korean 50,000 won bill ($42.50 US) was lucky. There is an urban legend that claims owning a South Korean 50,000 won bill will bring wealth and apparently many North Koreans who are trying to acquire the bills for themselves.

PersonalTalentAcademicsNKposter.jpg (195008 bytes)

Let us Cultivate more Persons of Talent in the Academic field!

In late January 2020, North Korea published their latest propaganda posters. There were signs of a more peaceful nation and instead of bombs and blood the 13 posters featured scenes of workers, scientists, educators, farmers, students and modern industry. The United States or President Trump was not mentioned at all.

A defector-activist group on 30 April 2020 sent leaflets to North Korea carrying news of the recent South Korean election victories of two high-profile defectors. The Fighters for a Free North Korea released 20 balloons carrying 500,000 flyers from Ganghwa County in the South Korean city of Incheon to the North.

A poster attached to the balloons said:

Defector and a disabled orphan Ji Seong-ho and Deputy Ambassador Thae Yong Ho are 
National Assembly lawmakers in our fatherland the Republic of Korea.

The leaflets were accompanied by 500 booklets, 2000 one-dollar bills, 1000 USBs, and 1000 SD cards inside 20 large balloons, according to the group's leader, Park Sang-hak.

The Fighters for a Free North Korea said:

The North Korean regime calls these two "human scum and the traitor of the people,"¯ but the free Republic of Korea has made these two become lawmakers of the highest legislative institution, unthinkable in North Korea. Ji Seong-ho, experienced the Arduous March, North Korea's disastrous famine of the 1990's, and crossing the Yalu River on a crutch. When the news reaches the North Korean people that a disabled boy who used to be an orphaned homeless child in North Korea now became a National Assembly lawmaker, they will perceive what the liberal democracy of the Republic of Korea is like, the true paradise of the people.

In early May 2020, several leaflets were found on a hill near Yonhung High School in Hyesan, Ryanggang province. The leaflets criticized The Highest Dignity, using an honorific term to refer to Kim Jong Un.

The balloons matched those used by South Korean civic groups, whose launches usually target the parts of North Korea closest to South Korea. It is rare that balloons reach northern provinces. They were about 10 meters (33 feet) long, made of a thick transparent vinyl film.

Kim Yo-jong, the sister of Kim Jong-un, serves unofficially as his chief of staff

North Korea finally tired of all the leafleting from the defectors in the south. On 3 June 2020, it threatened to end an inter-Korean military agreement reached in 2018 to reduce tensions if the South refused to prevent activists from flying anti-Pyongyang leaflets over the border. Kim Yo-jong, the sister of Kim Jong-un, who serves unofficially as Kim Jong-un's chief of staff, called the defectors "human scum" and "mongrel dogs" that betrayed their homeland:

On May 31 I heard a report that so-called "defectors from the north" scattered hundreds of thousands of anti-DPRK leaflets into the areas of our side from the frontline areas. What matters are that those human scum hardly worth their value as human beings had the temerity of faulting our supreme leadership and citing "nuclear issue". I wonder if the world knows what kind of riff-raffs those foolish "defectors from the North" are.

It is height of irony. Those fools that are almost illiterate wanted to talk about "nuclear issue" though they know no concept about it. This is like"a shop-boy near a temple chanting a sutra untaught. Human scum little short of wild animals who betrayed their own homeland are engrossed in such unbecoming acts to imitate men. They are sure to be called mongrel dogs as they bark in where they should not."¯

Now that the mongrel dogs are doing others harm, it is time to bring their owners to account. I would like to ask the South Korean authorities if they are ready to take care of the consequences of evil conduct done by the rubbish-like mongrel dogs. I detest those who feign ignorance or encourage more than those who move to do others harm. If they fail to take corresponding steps for the senseless act against the fellow countrymen, they had better get themselves ready for possibility of the complete withdrawal of the already desolate Kaesong Industrial Park, or shutdown of the joint liaison office whose existence only adds to trouble, or the scrapping of the agreement in the military field which is hardly of any value.

Responding to the North Korean statement, a spokesman for South Korea's Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs, called for a halt to the leaflet operations.

Speaking at his first press conference with foreign correspondents in Seoul since his election to the Legislature in April, Ji Seong-ho responded to news that the South Korean government was planning legislation to prevent activists sending the leaflets to the DPRK. Ji Seong-ho said the benefits of spreading information outweighed the risks to inter-Korean relations:

It appears that through leaflets, radio, and merchants along the Sino-North Korean border, the news about how I became a member of the National Assembly here has reached some North Koreans.

On 11 June 2020, the NK News depicted a photograph of a North Korean leaflet condemning conservative South Koreans found washed up on a beach on Yeonpyeong-do. The discovery came just days after North Korean authorities slammed the South Korean government for allowing local civic groups to send anti-DPRK leaflets over the border on balloons. The leaflet criticized conservative political forces for undermining inter-Korean relations and said in part.

The Purge of the Conservatives is an Urgent Task!

The People's Action Alliance to Purge Deep-rooted Evils

Park Sang-hak, chairman of the Seoul-based defectors group Fighters for a Free North Korea, criticized the ministry for acting as a spokesperson for Pyongyang.

The ministry remained silent when the North Korean military fired machine guns at the South Korean military in the Demilitarized Zone but now is blaming us [defectors groups] citing possible damage to residents near the border just because of a word from Kim Yo Jong

The biggest concern over Seoul's move is that it could restrict the freedom of expression, which is guaranteed by South Korea's constitution. Support for North Korean defector groups had been halted since Moon Jae-in became president. The government is gradually cracking down on defectors in South Korea, especially those who are vocal about human rights issues in the North. Several defector groups in South Korea announced on June 4 that they would continue to send leaflets to North Korea.

The Joint Liaison Office Destroyed 

In what amount to a temper tantric, on 16 June 2020, North Korea blew up a liaison office set up to foster better ties with South Korea yesterday after it threatened to take action if North Korean defectors went ahead with a campaign to send propaganda leaflets into the North. The liaison office in the border town of Kaesong, which had been closed since January due to the coronavirus crisis, was completely ruined. Black-and-white surveillance video released by South Korea's Ministry of Defence showed a large explosion that appeared to bring down the four-story structure. The blast also appeared to cause a partial collapse of a neighboring 15-story high-rise that had served as a residential facility for South Korean officials who staffed the liaison office. 

One day later South Korea apparently caved in and The provincial government of Gyeonggi, which surrounds Seoul and borders North Korea to the north, took one step further in its crackdown on the distribution of propaganda leaflets into the North by issuing an administrative order on Wednesday banning anyone from entering its border areas to float such leaflets and threatening legal punishments. The provincial government said all aspiring senders of anti-Pyongyang leaflets and materials are barred from entering the danger zones, let alone from carrying or preparing materials related to anti-North leaflet campaigns in those areas. Violators will be arrested on the scene and face imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of up to 10 million won ($8,300).

North Korea Printing Leaflets in Bulk

On 20 June, North Korea claimed the dropping of leaflets was a hideous act and threatened to do the same to South Korea. 

North Korea is gearing up to send propaganda leaflets over its southern border, denouncing North Korean defectors and South Korea, the latest retaliation for leaflets from the South as bilateral tensions rise. Enraged North Korean people across the country "are actively pushing forward with the preparations for launching a large-scale distribution of leaflets which are piled as high as a mountain," said state news agency KCNA. 

On 22 June it was reported that North Korea was preparing to send around 12 million propaganda leaflets plus cigarette butts and other garbage to South Korea via some 3,000 balloons:

Publishing and printing institutions at all levels in the capital city have turned out 12 million leaflets of all kinds reflective of the wrath and hatred of the people from all walks of life. Various equipment and means of distributing leaflets, including over 3,000 balloons of various types capable of scattering leaflets deep inside South Korea, have been prepared. The time for retaliatory punishment is drawing near. Observers say it will be just a matter of days or timed for 26 June, the 70th anniversary of the 1950-53 Korean War.

South Koreans preparing propaganda Leaflets to be sent North in June 2020

On 23 June Activist Park Sang-hak said his organization floated 20 huge balloons carrying 500,000 leaflets, 2,000 one-dollar bills and small books on North Korea from the border town of Paju. A large banner that was flown to North Korea with the leaflets on Monday shows the image of Kim Il Sung and calls him "the slaughterer of (the Korean) people"¯ and urged North Koreans to revolt against the of the Kim family. At the same time, it was reported that North Korea was moving giant loudspeakers near the Border with South Korea.

This might be a good time to look at a comparison between the North and South Korean leaflets:

Jin-Heon Jung says in his 2014 working paper Ballooning Evangelism: Psychological Warfare and Christianity in the Divided Korea

Inter-Korean propaganda competitions originated during the Korean War when US forces and their allies spread about 2.5 billion leaflets in the areas occupied by or sheltering North Korean and Chinese forces. US General MacArthur commanded that they “bury the enemy in leaflets.” Respectively, North Korean forces spread about 30 million leaflets. A historical study estimates that the quantity of the UN leaflets, circa 2.5 billion, was enough to cover the entire peninsula in a layer 35 leaflets deep. It can thus be argued that the UN leaflet-psywar exhibited capitalist characteristics: namely, not only overproducing and but also over consuming materials to demonstrate “superiority” over the other.

In comparison, it was reported that the South Korean state spent about one thousand US dollars to launch one set of balloons, which included leaflets and various products such as a radio, underwear, spices, snacks, etc. that could make the receivers envy South Korean society. This cost might include all related expenses undertaken by military units. In contrast, the privatized balloon campaigns rely on “private” donations, develop the techniques and technology with limited budget, and thus are inevitably involved in “internal” competitions and conflicts. 

Fundraising matters the most. Considering the relative cost, a privatized balloon campaign requires much less than a state funded military exercise, but it has become even cheaper; a full-size balloon now costs about $100 US dollars and includes 60 thousand leaflets as well as small gifts such as ballpoint pens, scarves, underwear, bandages, medicine, radios, and one US dollar or similar currency (equivalent to a North Korean average monthly income or 3,000 North Korean Won as of 2012). Even though the cost has dropped, the organizations and individual activists need financial support for their operations. Like most nongovernment organizations in South Korea, they advertise their bank account information on their websites calling for regular donations from individual or organizational advocates all over the world. Some of my interlocutors told me that financial support from international organizations such as the Defense Forum Foundation and overseas churches account for a significant portion of the sponsorship. But the amount of the budget each organization needs and spends to carry out the balloon campaigns is difficult to assess. Multiple organizations that are involved in the campaigns compete with one another for limited resources. 

Presently, each of his balloons is 12 meters tall and can carry a 7.5 kg bag that contains about 60,000 small size leaflets or 1,500 newspaper-size leaflets and aid goods. All these techniques that were once military secrets are now advertised in public.

On 26 June, Police said officers raided the Seoul office of Park Sang-hak to confiscate leaflets, account books and other related materials. The police also raided the office of Park's brother, Park Jung-oh, who has floated plastic bottles filled with rice toward North Korea across the sea boundary. Some experts say North Korea's latest saber rattling was aimed at extracting outside concessions in the face of crippling U.S.-led sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic.

A 29 June report stated that Special equipment will be made to spread the North Korean leaflets, including over 3,000 balloons of various types, and printing houses in North Korea are working in preparation for the printing of an additional several million more leaflets.

The Leaflet Allegedly Insulting Kim's Wife

On 1 July 2020 there were reports that the reason for the tantrums coming from North Korea was that on 31 May leaflets had been dropped showing Kim Jong Un's wife Ri Sol Ju photo-shopped in some poses where she was not completely clothed. It comes seven years after leaflets falsely claiming that Ri Sol Ju had made a porn film were allegedly distributed into North Korea by an activist group in 2013.

The leaflets bore a special dirty, insulting propaganda aimed at the leader's spouse.

Photo: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images

Activist Park Sang-hak holds a leaflet depicting the death of Kim Jong-nam, half-brother
to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, during a press conference in Seoul on 6 July 2020.  

Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images

The assassination of Kim Jong-nam occurred on 13 February 2017 when he was attacked with VX nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia. Four North Korean suspects left the airport shortly after the assassination and reached Pyongyang without being arrested. Kim Jong Un is believed to have ordered the attack.

The captain of a North Korean fishing boat learned that listening to the radio can be dangerous for his health in October 2020. He was put to death after he admitted to listening to broadcasts banned in the North for more than 15 years. The Captain was able to pick up foreign broadcasts while fishing in the water off the coast of North Korea. He was turned in by one of his crew members and confessed to authorities. He was charged with "subversion against the party."¯ He was executed by firing squad, on charges of listening to Radio Free Asia. He was publicly shot in front of 100 other captains and managers of the facility's fish processing plants.

The Center for Strategic and International studies stated on 22 December 2020 that in what may be the end of the North-South Propaganda war, the South Korean National Assembly in December 2020 approved legislation that imposes stiff fines and jail terms for sending leaflets, USB sticks, Bible verses, and even money across the 38th parallel into North Korea via balloons. Under the legislation, South Koreans could face fines of up to $27,000 (30 million South Korean won) and up to three years in prison for violating the law.

On 27 January 2021, Park Sang-hak fought back. Many American politicians disliked the new South Korean rules forbidding the anti-Communists from sending messages north. They invited the North Korean defector activist to travel to the United States for a congressional hearing on the controversial bill South Korea recently passed to ban the sending of anti-North Korea leaflets. Park flew to Washington to attend the hearing that Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) is seeking to convene to discuss the anti-leafleting law.

A RAND Corporation study of publicly available information assessed the state of balloon and drone technology for delivering information into North Korea. The study suggested that balloons are "saturating"¯ the border area with leaflets, but they do not reach further into the country.

The People are God

With the start of 2021, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un introduced the annual slogans of the year during his closing speech at the Communist Party Congress. He said he wanted people to keep in mind these brief, simple phrases instead of new flashy slogans this year. All three slogans on the above poster have been mainstays of North Korean propaganda for years. The slogan "the people are God"¯ reflects the party's aim to serve the people, while the other two, "Single hearted unity"¯ and Self-reliance¯ refer to the "political requirements"¯ of citizens in North Korean society. The party hopes the three phrases enhance loyalty to party directives.

Park Sang-hak releasing a balloon filled with leaflets.
The world condemns Kim Jong Un who is crazy for nuclear and rocket provocations.
Photo: YONHAP News

On 30 April 2021, Park Sang-hak, an activist promoting human rights in North Koreans and a former defector, said that he had distributed leaflets to North Korea. According to Park, 500,000 leaflets, 500 brochures, and 5,000 one-dollar bills were sent to North Korea from Gyeonggi province and Gangwon province, areas bordering North Korea, using ten 8-foot-tall balloons on two occasions between April 25 and 29. He did not specify the date or exact location of the activity, to block the possibility of the government regulating future launches. Park declared that he is not afraid of being sentenced to prison for sending the leaflets, saying he would tell the truth to 20 million starving North Korean compatriots. He accused the South Korean government of siding with Kim Jong Un and cracking down on North Korean defectors fighting for the liberation of the North Korean people. The legislation allows punishment of up to three years in prison and fines of up to $27,000 for distributing visual media posts and flyers to North Korea from the South Korean side of the border.

Soon after this renewed leafleting, the North Korean government went back to an old tactic of theirs from the Korean War when they claimed the U.S. was using germ warfare against them. North Korea warned its citizens against reading propaganda leaflets sent via balloon over the border with the South, saying they could be carrying coronavirus. The state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper urged people to stay away from the leaflets, saying:

Even when we come across a strange object flying in the wind, we must consider them as a possible route of transmission of the malicious virus rather than a natural phenomenon. Think and move according to Covid-19 guidelines.

One of Mr. Park's leaflets, in which he calls Kim Jong-un, the leader of
North Korea, a "devil who murdered his elder brother."¯
Chang W. Lee - The New York Times

On 28 January 2022, the New York Times stated that Park Sang-hak, the defector, became the first person to be indicted under the new leaflet law, which critics say puts a policy of engagement with North Korea above human rights:

For years, Mr. Park and others like him have launched balloons into North Korea loaded with propaganda leaflets urging North Koreans to revolt against their authoritarian leader, Kim Jong-un. Sending such leaflets was made a crime punishable by a fine up to about $24,800 or a prison term of up to three years. Mr. Park defied the ban in April 2021 by launching 10 balloons carrying a half million leaflets. The police later raided his office and interrogated him. In July, they formally asked prosecutors to indict Mr. Park under the law. Mr. Park was indicted on 26 January on charges of "attempting"¯ to send the leaflets because investigators lacked evidence that the leaflets landed in the North.

Mr. Lee Min-bok keeps bunches of leaflets in storage
Chang W. Lee -The New York Times

Lee Min-bok, another defector from North Korea, criticized not only the law but also Mr. Park, who he said jeopardized the entire balloon campaign by provoking both governments. Mr. Lee started sending leaflets in 2006, before Mr. Park, and favored low-key operations that didn't attract media attention. He launched leaflets that focused on providing news from outside North Korea, rather than criticizing the Kim regime.

On 14 April 2022, after the recent Korean elections moved the country to the right, Kwon Young-se, nominated for the post of unification minister in a new conservative government, said he believed a ban on people sending propaganda, introduced by the outgoing liberal government as it tried to improve ties with the North, was a violation of the right to free speech.

North Korean defectors and activists in South Korea had for decades sent balloons carrying leaflets floating across the tightly guarded border between the two Koreas. They also sent food, medicine, money, mini radios, and USB sticks loaded with South Korean news and dramas via balloons and plastic bottles on border waterways.

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, set to take office on May 10, nominated Kwon on Wednesday for the job of handling North Korea policy at the Unification Ministry as a new government takes shape that is expected to take a harder line with the North. Kwon said he maintained a position set out in a 2021 commentary in which he called for abolishing the ban and accused the then administration of neglecting ordinary North Koreans.

One Million South Korean Leaflets on the way to the Launching Point

This photo shows one of the balloons containing 1 million anti-Pyongyang leaflets that
Fighters for Free North Korea, a Seoul-based organization of North Korean defectors, claimed it sent toward
North Korea from the South Korean border town of Gimpo on 25-26, April 2022.

ABC News reported on 29 April 2022 that Park Sang-hak said he launched a million propaganda leaflets by balloon into North Korea this week, in his first such campaign while standing trial for past leafleting under a contentious new law that criminalizes such actions. He resumed his leafleting campaign this week after halting such activities for a year during a police investigation and court trial for sending balloons across the border in April last year. The trial is continuing, and no verdict has been issued. His group floated 20 huge balloons carrying leaflets critical of North Korea's nuclear program and the Kim family's hereditary rule across the tense Korean border, Park said. Park said the balloons also contained pictures of South Korea's incoming conservative president, Yoon Suk Yeol, to show North Koreans the difference between the South's election system and the North's father-to-son successions. He said small books and USB sticks, which carry information about South Korea's economic and cultural development, were also put in the balloons. He said:

North Korea has deceived us. It once said it would scrap its nukes, but its leader Kim Jong Un and his sister Kim Yo Jong are now threatening to launch preemptive nuclear strikes on South Korea and the international community. I want to condemn such acts.

Park Sang-hak holds Balloons filled with Medicine

On 5 June 2022, North Korean defector Park Sang-hak, head of Fighters for a Free North Korea, was up to his old tricks near the inter-Korean border in Pocheon, Gyeonggi. The new South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol seems not to be enforcing the law against propaganda, so Park sent COVID aid: 20,000 masks, 15,000 Tylenol pills, and 30,000 vitamin C tablets in 20 large balloons. The only propaganda that's included in the balloon drops is a 78-page treatise on South Korea as a prosperous country along with American dollar bills as symbols of the capitalist South's alliance with the U.S.A. The group released a video showing Park launching the balloons. He said:

Currently, in North Korea, medicines are very difficult to obtain, and members of the public are dying without proper care. People are dying because of COVID in North Korea. That's the top priority. Right now, hundreds of thousands are getting the virus, and thousands are dying every day.

Boxes of masks, pain relief pills, and vitamin C in the Fighters For North Korea office, June 28, 2022.

On 29 June, Yonhap News said that a group of North Korean defectors sent medicine that helps with COVID-19 symptoms to North Korea. Park Sang-hak, head of the Fighters for a Free North Korea, told Yonhap News Agency that his group released 20 huge balloons carrying 80,000 pain reliever pills, 30,000 vitamin C tablets and 20,000 masks toward the North from Incheon's Ganghwa Island, some 60 kilometers west of Seoul, between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on 27 June. Two banners attached to balloons read:

With the sincerity and support of the Korean people and Korean Americans, we send you medicine to treat malignant infectious diseases.

Let's save the North Korean compatriots abandoned by Kim Jong-un.

North Korea reacted by using their old propaganda line from the Korean War that propaganda material was loaded with germs. Using the threat of COVID, North Korea said the country's first outbreak began with patients touching "alien things"¯ near the border with South Korea, blaming its neighbor for the wave of infections that hit the isolated country. To be honest, the North has also worried about goods coming from China and even those brought into the country by smugglers. South Korea's unification ministry said on 1 July there is "no possibility"¯ of COVID-19 entering North Korea via contaminated balloons sent by activists in the South.

A Weeping Kim Jong Un

On 7 July, the Fighters for a Free North Korea said 20 plastic balloons were released at Gimpo, west of Seoul, with 70,000 fever-reducing pills, 30,000 vitamin C tablets and 20,000 masks in them. Also attached to the balloons were big banners countering North Korea's previous claim that its first COVID-19 outbreak was traced to a North Korean town adjacent to the inter-Korean border. One banner said:

We denounce Kim Jong-un, a hypocrite who let the vicious infectious disease from China spread and put the blame on anti-North leaflets.

Kim Jong Un is depicted crying. A picture from 2012, when state media showed him weeping at an event marking the death of his father Kim Jong Il.

The New 50,000 Won Note

North Korea seems to be facing up to its inflation. North Korean monetary authorities have issued 50,000-won notes recently, and this is by far the highest currency denomination the country has ever had, 10 times the face value of the previous highest 5,000-won note. The note is worth $8.30 U.S.

On 11 August 2022, ABC News reported that leader Kim Jong Un's sister said he suffered a fever while guiding the country to victory over the coronavirus. She blamed rival South Korea for the outbreak and vowed "deadly"¯ retaliation. In her first known televised speech, his sister said he suffered a fever and glorified his "epoch-making"¯ leadership. In a dubious claim, she accused South Korea of spreading COVID-19 to North Korea's largely unvaccinated populace, saying the initial infections were caused by "leaflets, banknotes, awful booklets"¯ and other items flown across the border by anti-North Korean activists in the South. North Korea's claim about the origin of the outbreak contradicts outside experts, who believe the omicron variant spread when the country briefly reopened its border with China to freight traffic in January and surged further following a military parade and other large-scale events in Pyongyang, its capital, in April.

Placard launched into North Korea

On 1 October 2022, the Fighters for a Free North Korea said that they released eight giant balloons carrying face masks, Tylenol pills and other items toward North Korea. The balloons also carried vitamin C tablets, booklets outlining South Korea's development over the past 50 years and USBs containing U.S. lawmakers talking about North Korea's human rights situation. The balloons, which were launched from Paju, north of Seoul, also had placards reading:

All humanity condemns Kim Jong-un who is threatening to launch preemptive strikes on the
Republic of Korea with nuclear missiles.

On 10 November 2022, Unification Minister Kwon Young-se said in an opinion submitted to the Constitutional Court that the law banning the sending of anti-Pyongyang leaflets into North Korea is unconstitutional and restricts the freedom of expression and political activities. If this opinion is accepted, we expect to see balloons full of leaflets floating North in the near future.

On 8 December, an appellate court ruled in favor of the unification ministry's 2020 decision to revoke the operation permit of a North Korean defector group accused of spreading propaganda leaflets to the North. Losing operation permits will make it hard for the group to raise money for its operations and activities, as revocation will make it ineligible for various benefits available to registered organizations.

As South Korea makes it more difficult for anti-Communist activists to leaflet the North, the U.S. on 13 December 2022 offered up to $1.5 million for projects that increase North Koreans’ access to outside information. Organizations can submit proposals to boost the “free flow of objective, independent information” to and from North Korea, especially information that increases awareness of the DPRK’s repression of individual rights. Moreover, proposals must include plans to consult with the North Korean defector community and curate content that fosters “critical thinking and opportunities for discourse on human rights and freedoms. Projects should have the potential to have an immediate impact leading to long-term, sustainable reforms.” Activists have long deployed an array of tactics for getting information into the North, including dropping leaflets from balloons, floating USB flash drives loaded with American and South Korean pop media and broadcasting international news into the country over shortwave radio. The State Department says such ideas are welcome so long as they improve upon past efforts. It also encourages the cultivation of a “new generation of content creators” in the North Korean defector community to help scale outreach efforts.


Pyongyang from Space
Arirang News

A new sort of propaganda war erupted in the two Koreas on 23 December 2022. Apparently North Korea started it when they published a black and white satellite photograph of Seoul, probably as a threat that they could clearly see and target the South. Immediately afterwards South Korea published a very clear color photograph of Pyongyang shot from a satellite to show the North they could be targeted too. This seems a bit of one-upmanship.

South Korea has revealed a new high-altitude image of the Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang. Taken by the country's first land-observing satellite, it shows the central library and a department store. Even trees planted across the square can be clearly spotted. Quite a contrast to the black-and-white image of Seoul the regime released three days ago. The North claims their photo was taken by a military recon satellite, despite the low resolution.

An older North Korean Drone discovered in South Korea in 2017
Photograph by Yonhap

On 26 December 2022, North Korean drones penetrated South Korea, all the way to Seoul. North Korea claimed that a total of twelve drones had infiltrated South Korea, but that enemy military had only been able to detect five of them. These two countries have signed an agreement not to commit acts of war against each other, but this seems to have broken that agreement. On 27 April 2018, both countries agreed to stop all hostile acts including loudspeaker broadcasting and leaflet distribution.

Perhaps in retaliation for the done incursions, On 5 January 2023, the Korea Times reported that the resumption of loudspeaker broadcasts has been emerging as a possible countermeasure in response to North Korea's recent use of drones to cross the inter-Korean border, infiltrating the South for the first time in five years. The South Korean military used to operate propaganda broadcast posts along the border as a key part of its psychological warfare tactics against North Korea. The use of the loudspeakers has been suspended since the inter-Korean summit in April 2018. Representative Tae Yong-ho said:

What Kim Jong-un fears the most are loudspeaker broadcasts targeting North Korean soldiers deployed on the border.

Both North and South Korea have been using drones for reconnaissance against each other, and generally just to annoy each other. The North Korean defectors in the south are now thinking of adding drones to their repertoire. A North Korean defectors' group said on 9 January 2023 it plans to fly unmanned aerial vehicles carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border. Park Sang-hak, head of the Fighters for Free North Korea, told the Yonhap News Agency that his group will use drones to send the anti-Pyongyang leaflets “at the earliest date possible.” In April 2020, he claimed that his group had flown a drone carrying leaflets to the North's capital. The conservative Yoon Suk Yeol administration warned that it would suspend a 2018 inter-Korean agreement on reducing military tension if North Korea violates the South's territory again.

In late February 2023, North Korea was working on atom bombs and shooting rockets off to intimidate South Korea and Japan. Meanwhile its people were starving. The west offered to send food, but North Korea turned them down calling it “poisoned candy.” They then turned to their civilian population and demanded “patriotic Rice” be given to the army because they were hungry. That immediately drove the price of rice up 15%, no doubt causing more starvation in the nation.

A group of North Korean defectors sent 120,000 leaflets and 3,000 USB flash drives over the border by balloon on 9 April 2023. Free North Korea Radio reported that the launchers call themselves Freedom Campaign for North Koreans. The group launched 12 leaflet-carrying balloons late at night from an unspecified location.

The group of defectors claimed that they attached GPS devices to the balloons that showed 11 out of 12 reached North Korea’s Hwanghae Province, which borders the Demilitarized Zone. A lone balloon was lost just before crossing, the group said. The balloons carried criticism of Kim Jong Un, dynastic rule in the country and nuclear development, as well as the news that one of North Korea’s highest-level officials to ever defect, Tae Yong-ho, was elected to a senior position within South Korea’s People Power Party. In January this year, Park Sang-hak of Fighters for a Free North Korea told the North Korea News that he plans to disseminate anti-DPRK leaflets into North Korea using drones, but he has not provided any further information since.

Placard denouncing Pyongyang's nuclear and missile provocations

On 5 May 2023, Park Sang-hak, head of the Fighters for a Free North Korea (FFNK), told the Yonhap News Agency that the organization sent 20 balloons carrying vitamin C tablets, Tylenol pills and booklets to the North on Friday from Ganghwa Island, west of Seoul. According to Park, placards denouncing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile provocations were attached to the balloons. The FFNK previously sent eight balloons carrying similar goods about eight months ago. Park Sang-hak also told the Yonhap News Agency that his group will use drones to send the anti-Pyongyang leaflets at the earliest date possible, citing difficulty in flying them in the usual giant plastic balloons during the winter.

Rice Bottles

On 16 May 2023, Radio Free Asia reported that Mysterious bottles full of rice, US dollars and memory sticks containing anti-North Korean content showed up in the Han River around the South Korean capital of Seoul. They are the work of local North Korean escapee organizations. The bottles are intended to follow the flow of the river into the sea current, which could potentially deposit them on North Korean west coast beaches. The Ministry of Unification maintains a cautious stance that residents should refrain from sending leaflets and balloons to North Korea for their own safety, but it acknowledges that there are unconstitutional elements of the anti-leaflet law.

Placard - When should I do the same

On 27 June it was reported that North Korean defector-turned-activist Park Sang-hak said he's flown balloons carrying around 200,000 anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets and COVID-19 medical supplies into North Korea from across the border. Park Sang-hak also flew a placard with picture of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, that read:

My Grandfather [Kim Il Sung] invaded South Korea 73 years ago.
When should I do the same?

A Leaflet Balloon Bearing an Anti-North Korea Banner.

On 20 September 2023, Park Sang-hak’s Fighters for a Free North Korea released 20 balloons from a border island. He said his organization launched balloons carrying anti-regime leaflets toward North Korea to mark North Korea Freedom Week. The balloons were released from Ganghwa Island in Incheon, near the inter-Korean border:

At around 11 p.m., marking the 20th North Korea Freedom Week, we attached 200,000 leaflets, 1,000 USB drives and 200 booklets to 20 large balloons and sent them.

A poster attached to the large balloons bore the text:

Until the day our compatriots suffering under Kim Jong Un’s tyranny are freed, the
anti-DPRK leaflet campaign will continue.

Park added:

The booklets that the balloons carried focus on South Korea’s dramatic economic development. The dissemination of fact and truth is the most important mission and duty for DPRK defectors. We will continue to send more information to North Korea for the human rights and freedom of its people.

On 26 September 2023 South Korea’s Constitutional Court ruled that a controversial law banning the sending of anti-regime leaflets into North Korea is unconstitutional on Tuesday, two and a half years after it went into effect. The justices deemed the so-called anti-leaflet law unconstitutional in a 7-2 vote. With a current government closer to the Center, South Korea can now legally and safely send leaflets north.

Freedom of expression is the constitutional value that is the basis of democracy, and it is important to guarantee it. The content of expressions limited by the clause subject to judgment is extensive and, as a result, freedom of expression is excessively restricted. The chilling effect on freedom cannot be said to be small.   

On 16 February 2024 it was reported that North Korea amended its national anthem to remove a reference to the Korean Peninsula amid a wider purge of anything representing unification with South Korea. The amendment comes as North Korea works to systemically eliminate all references to unification after leader Kim Jong Un declared it an "impossible" goal and called for a "decisive" change to inter-Korean policy. This could be a propaganda tactic as the North tells the South it has given up on reunification and new sees only invasion as a way to unify the two Koreas.

On 13 May 2024, Park Sang-Hak launched balloons carrying flash drives loaded with K-Pop, a popular genre of music from South Korea. Perhaps he believed that the popular songs would catch the attention of the North Korean finders and lead to them reading the propaganda leaflets too. This is Park Sang-Hak’s first launch since the South Korean court struck down anti-leaflet law. A North Korean defectors' group has sent about 20 large plastic balloons carrying propaganda leaflets against the North Korean regime across the border into the North, the group's chief said Monday. Containing 300,000 flyers criticizing the regime and 2,000 USB sticks loaded with K-pop content, the balloons were launched from Ganghwa Island near the western inter-Korean border late Friday. The text on the large poster hanging from the bottom of the balloon is:

"Wipe out all of South Korea."

Kim Jong-un, who says, "He is not a nation, nor a 3,000-mile strong mountain. He is only the unchanging main enemy of the Republic of Korea," is nothing more than an unchanging traitor and the enemy of the nation!

Free North Korea Movement Coalition

On 28 May 2024, the Yonhap News Agency reported that the South Korean military was inspecting unidentified objects assumed to be North Korean leaflets found in border areas in Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces. There have been recent reports that North Korea has been sending balloons full of garbage, used toilet paper and leaflets south. North Korea warned of taking "tit-for-tat action" against the distribution of anti-Pyongyang leaflets in border areas. Kim Kang-il, the North's vice defense minister, said in a statement released via state media:

Mounds of wastepaper and filth will soon be scattered over the border areas and the interior of the ROK and it will directly experience how much effort is required to remove them.

A North Korean Filth Balloon.

On 29 May the NK News reported that North Korea launches 260 balloons carrying "filth and garbage" into South Korea. Some balloons had propaganda leaflets, others just contained garbage.

On 2 June, North Korea said it would stop sending trash-filled balloons across the border into the South, saying the "disgusting" missives had been an effective countermeasure against propaganda sent by anti-regime activists. The North has sent nearly a thousand balloons carrying bags of rubbish containing everything from cigarette butts to bits of cardboard and plastic, Seoul's military said, warning the public to stay away.

By 3 June it was reported that North Korea sent about 3,500 balloons of various sizes across the border between May 28 and June 2. The thousands of balloons have carried some 15 tons of waste into South Korea. On the same day South Korea decided to suspend a 2018 inter-Korean tension reduction pact until "mutual trust is restored." The anger over the balloons has raised speculation that South Korea might resume propaganda campaigns via loudspeakers along the border. The loudspeakers used to air criticism of the Kim Jong Un regime’s human rights abuses, as well as news and K-pop songs, to the fury of the North.

South Korea has called the latest provocation from its nuclear-armed neighbor "irrational" and "low-class" but, unlike the spate of recent ballistic missile launches, the trash campaign does not violate UN sanctions on Kim Jong Un's isolated regime.

I am going to stop mentioning the civilian leaflets sent north by the North Korean defector groups in the south. North Korea had said they were done with sending trash south in response to the balloons from the south and then the defectors decided they just had to send more balloons and the North replied that they would send more garbage. The story is silly and infantile. At some point the North will stop sending toilet paper and start sending artillery shells. I will make one last mention after the latest actions and from then on will only mention government leafleting.

Members of Gyeoreul Unification Solidarity prepare to send balloons carrying
propaganda leaflets critical of the North Korean regime across the border.
Picture by Yonhap

The Korea Times said of 8 June 2024:

A North Korean defectors' group said Saturday that it has sent additional propaganda leaflets critical of the North Korean regime across the border, heightening concerns that Pyongyang may resume sending balloons filled with trash in retaliation. Ten large balloons, carrying approximately 200,000 leaflets criticizing North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, were launched from Ganghwa Island near the border according to a press release from Gyeoreul Unification Solidarity. Another defector group released 500 plastic bottles containing rice and U.S. dollar bills the following day.

Additionally, USB drives containing President Yoon Suk Yeol's speech for the March 1 Independence Movement Day and messages from U.S. senators and congressmen aimed at North Korean audiences were included in the balloons. The Seoul government confirmed that these balloons had crossed into North Korean territory. "Yesterday, we observed the launch of the balloons and are maintaining a state of readiness while closely monitoring North Korean activities," a military official said on condition of anonymity.

North Korea also threatened to send "a hundred times the amount of toilet paper and filth" in response to any further leafleting from the South, raising concerns that the waste-filled campaign could resume.

Despite the threats, North Korean defector groups have continued their anti-regime campaigns.

The South Korea military operates 24 high-power speakers stacked in stationary racks as tall as 20 feet and 9 feet wide and positioned at different locations just south of the barbed wire fence marking the southern edge of the Demilitarized Zone border. Other units are mobile and mounted on trucks [as shown above]. At maximum output, the speaker blast voice and music more than 12.4 miles into North Korea, far enough to reach many North Korean soldiers and civilians.

On 9 June, South Korea apparently restarted anti-North Korean propaganda loudspeaker broadcasts in border areas in response to continuing North Korean campaigns to drop trash on the South with balloons. Anti-Pyongyang broadcasts, K-pop songs and international news were broadcast in the past.

In 2015, when South Korea restarted loudspeaker broadcasts for the first time in 11 years, North Korea fired artillery rounds across the border, prompting South Korea to return fire, according to South Korean officials. No casualties were reported.

Hours after the South resumed loudspeaker broadcasts, the sister of Kim Jong Un warned that the South created a "prelude to a very dangerous situation." She said South Korea would witness an unspecified "new response" from the North if it continues with the broadcasts and fails to stop civilian activists from flying anti-North Korean propaganda leaflets across the border. 

The Smart Balloon

I think we all know that leaflet dissemination is changing. In the Russo-Ukraine war we see leaflets being dropped from drones, sometimes over individual soldiers. In the North Korea-South Korea political debate we have seen balloons sent by both sides. We have seen nothing new until June 2024, when Ju-min Park, Adolfo Arranz, Han Huang, Jackie Gu and Jitesh Chowdhury wrote an article titled "Balloon offensive" for Reuters.

The Balloon Distribution System

It can distribute as many leaflets as you like, when you like

They talked about a smart balloon designed by the political group, The Committee for Reform and Opening up of Joson [North Korea], that has altitude and distance controls, can distribute leaders where programmed, like a polka dealer in Las Vegas, and can carry a loudspeaker. Some of the comments are:

Built using 3D printers and components sourced online and sometimes equipped with GPS-tracking, these so-called "smart balloons" can cost up to $1,000 each. The aim is to drop cargoes deeper into North Korea, including over the capital Pyongyang, with the longer ranges now possible. One balloon has flown as far as China. The balloon payload may include leaflet dispenser, speakers, or other items. It can weigh up to 7.5 kilos.

Balloon paths

Another key technical advancement made over the past two years has been altimeter-linked valves that automatically prevent the balloons from going too high, making for a more stable flight, though the balloons are still at the mercy of the weather and their flight paths cannot be controlled.

How effective the balloons are is a matter of debate, with no independent verification possible of where they land or what average North Koreans might think about the contents.

The group's members declined to be identified, worried about harassment from South Koreans critical of such activists, a potential crackdown by South Korean authorities or reprisals by North Korean agents.

The Balloon Loudspeaker System

They mention the loudspeaker onboard the balloon that can blare 15 minutes of North Korean songs and messages recorded in a North Korean accent and pause for 30 minutes before beginning again. The batteries can last for 5 days. part of the recording says, "Get rid of the Workers' Party, then North Korea can survive. Kim Jong Un is a traitor that opposes unification."

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