These balloons were launched in January 2014 from the northern South Korean town of Paju.
Human Rights Foundation
SAN FRANCISCO—For years, Park Sang Hak has fought the North Korean government with balloons.
The long, thin, translucent, 36-foot-long (12-meter) balloons are loaded up with USB sticks with Wikipedia entries, DVDs of popular TV shows, anti-government leaflets, and even single American dollar bills. (The last is included so starving North Koreans can buy rice on the black market.) While the balloons typically make it over the border by only a few kilometers or so (often dropping inside the Demilitarized Zone), sometimes they can land as far away as Pyongyang, about 125 miles from the border.
Speaking in a local South of Market coffee shop, the North Korean defector explained Monday morning to Ars through an interpreter that he’s currently on a tour of Northern California, looking for tech-savvy benefactors to help improve his air-dropped messages. Park’s group, the Freedom Fighters of North Korea, claims to have sent 52 million leaflets in recent years. But with hardly any original information getting out of North Korea, it’s almost impossible to know what impact, if any, they’re having.