North Korea (MNN/VOM) — North Korea is sick of balloons.
These are not the kinds that you find at parties, but they’re the sturdy kinds, built for tracking weather and able to carry weight…and they’re used by Voice of the Martyrs to reach North Korea with a message.
VOM USA spokesman Todd Nettleton explains, ”They clearly are delivering the Gospel into North Korea. They clearly are doing it very effectively because otherwise, the North Koreans wouldn’t take this step of publicly criticizing them.” (Click here to watch a video)
Nettleton is referring to a statement released by North Korea’s state media (KCNA). “They threatened all kinds of things. They’re going to ‘turn South Korea into a sea of fire’ if these things happen. I actually really think of it as a badge of honor for our partner ministry, our sister office in South Korea that handles these balloon launches.”
At the same time, North Korea has also been denying the effectiveness, but by issuing a statement, “Obviously, it’s working,” says Nettleton. “We’ve gotten their attention. We know from GPS tracking that the Bibles, the leaflets, the balloons are going into North Korea. We can tell quite a bit about the locations, and their release kind of confirmed some of what we already knew.”
VOM’s sister mission in South Korea posted some details from the KCNA statement in their blog:[Translation note: When NK uses the term “Riff-raffs,” they are typically referring to North Korean defectors–in this case, our Underground University and Underground Technology students who are proud members of our organization and balloon launch ministry.]
[SIC] Pyongyang, August 14 (KCNA) – The south Korean puppet forces have reached an extreme phase in their leaflet-scattering operations against the DPRK.
Riff-raffs affiliated to the Voice of Martyr, a puppet die-hard conservative organization in south Korea, scattered by use of balloons anti-DPRK leaflets over areas in the DPRK from the area of Hapsu-ri in Jung-myon of Ryonchon County, Kyonggi Province on July 24.
Similar operations were conducted by other south Korean die-hard conservative bodies in the area of Aegibong, Jogang-ri, Wolgot-myon in Kimpho City, Kyonggi Province on July 27 and in the area of Rodongdangsa, Jung-ri, Cholwon County of south Korean Kangwon Province on July 31.
Entering August, the puppet forces have got zealous in scattering anti-DPRK leaflets and various kinds of undesirable e-media as evidenced by their scattering operations on August 5, 6 and 7. They conducted 3 to 5 operations in June and 9 operations in July.
They are getting trickier in fixing time and locations for their scattering operations against the DPRK.
In view of this critical situation, the frontline combined units of the Korean People’s Army released an open statement on August 14.
What is more serious is that the die-hard conservative bodies have conducted anti-DPRK leaflet-scattering operations with the tacit connivance of the south Korean regime and military, the statement said, and went on:
The south Korean puppet joint chiefs of staff named the anti-DPRK leaflet scattering operations of the non-governmental reactionary organizations “balloon operations”, gave an “order” to all frontline guard units and artillery units to “tighten vigilance against the north” and “get ready to open fire.”
The operations for massively scattering anti-DPRK leaflets and undesirable e-media that have spilt over to the whole area along the military demarcation line are an open declaration of a war against the DPRK.
If one side mobilizes forces while conducting a psychological warfare against its opponent, that just leads to a total war.
Now that such large-scale joint military drills as Ulji Freedom Guardian are close at hand, the Park Geun Hye group has launched such a large-scale psychological warfare as leaflet-scattering operations. This clearly proves that the north-south relations have been plunged into the state of a war, in actuality.
The puppet forces should not forget even a moment that the whole of south Korea might turn into a sea of fire due to the foolhardy leaflet scattering operations.
There is a limit to the patience of the frontline soldiers of the KPA.
Noted: Strong language from the DPRK about the balloons. “The operations for massively scattering anti-DPRK leaflets and undesirable e-media that have spilt over to the whole area along the military demarcation line are an open declaration of a war against the DPRK.”
But really, an act of war? Nettleton responds, “The North Korean government has a very vested interest in keeping the Gospel out because if Jesus Christ is Lord, if Jesus Christ is the Savior, then, by definition, Kim Jong-un is not the Savior.”
Since the North Korean government is built on the system of deifying the leaders, Christianity and the Gospel message are a direct threat to their government. However, he acknowledges, “I would say there IS a war that is going on in North Korea, but it is a spiritual war.”
Because it is a spiritual war, anyone can be on the frontlines. Nettleton explains that “People not even close to North Korea can be a part of it. They can suit up and be a part of the battle, and they can do that through their prayers.” Specifically, since they’re not stopping the balloons, pray for good weather to carry the materials over the border into North Korea. “We can pray for favor with the South Korean government to allow the launches to go forward. Maybe most significantly, we want to pray for the people who will pick up these leaflets and Bibles, that they will have a receptive heart.”