North Korea takes a threatening stance against information campaigns

By March 2, 2011

North Korea (MNN) — 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."

North Korea has consistently
topped the world's human rights watch lists as being the most repressive and
closed nation on earth. It leads the Open
Doors World Watch list again in 2011. Given the instability right now, Nettleton
suggests the strongest course of action: "We
can pray for the Christians in North Korea. We know that they are there. We
know that they are oppressed, many of them in prison. Pray for their
encouragement, pray for their safety. Pray that they will continue to be faithful in spite of their
suffering."

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