3/4/2011 North Korea (MissionNetworkNews) – A massive propaganda campaign by the South Korean military drew an ominous warning from North Korea.
Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs explains that South Korea thought it was high time the people in the North were brought up to speed about current events. “They have since started up again their own efforts, including recently dropping news reports from the Middle East [regarding] how countries and people have marched in the streets and overturned their dictators.”
It’s a story that might resonate strongly in North Korea. The balloons also reportedly carried toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, underwear, and basic medicine.
Although the government can block the airwaves, they can’t block what gets carried in on the air current. Nettleton says their teams also use this method. “The Voice of the Martyrs and our contacts are launching Scripture balloons. Other groups are launching different kinds of information into North Korea.”
However, Pyongyang says they will fire on anyone sending helium balloons in from South Korea. The VOM balloons are also considered threats. North Korea is taking no chances. “We have also heard that they will mobilize entire military units to go out and pick up and destroy the leaflets when they fall. Even simple Scripture passages are thought to be such a threat that it requires large-scale military intervention.”
On the heels of this threat comes another over the annual US-South Korean military drills. North Korea is now threatening a military and nuclear response to the war games that they see as a preparation for “invasion.” Although South Korean and U.S. forces brushed off the threats, there is reason to keep defenses raised.
Kim Jong-un is building his persona as the new leader. It’s possible that he would do more than rattle his saber. Nettleton explains, “There is that side of it, as well, of him trying to establish that he is the defender of the Korean people and a great military leader. In that sense, I think perhaps we pay more attention this year than we would have a year ago.”
Now that the news of the revolts has made it across North Korea’s borders, it’s expected that the country will take strong preventative measures against the possibility of unrest. Believers, already facing the severest persecution in the world, can expect more. Nettleton says, “Christians are routinely arrested and sent off to concentration camps, so it’s an incredibly difficult place to be a follower of Christ. And what’s going on politically hasn’t changed that and really may have accentuated it a bit, in the short term.”