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Balloon activist targets North Korea using DVD

North Korea has been targeted by thousands more helium balloons carrying the film The Interview. South Korea activist Lee Min-bok says it's his fourth launch. The DVD shows a fictional plot to kill the North's leader.

North Korea remained mute on Wednesday on whether the DVDs had reached its territory. And, South Korea's government said it had only become aware of the launches in the past few days and stood by the "freedom of individuals to publish their opinions."

Lee, North Korean defector-turned-activist said he made his latest launch of helium-filled balloons carrying the Hollywood film The Interview. It depicts a fictional CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Launched from truck

The launch from the back of a truck also included leaflets criticizing Kim's regime and bundles of dollar bills. His first launch took place in January.

"I launched thousands of copies and about a million leaflets on Saturday, near the western part of [South Korea's] border," Lee said.

In the past reclusive, communist North Korea has demanded that South Korea ban such launches.

Lee said local police had monitored his launches did not stop him.

"Our stance is that we continue to acknowledge the freedom of individuals to publicize their opinions," South Korea's Unification Ministry said on Wednesday.

Last October, North Korean border guards tried to shoot down some balloons, triggering a brief exchange of gunfire between North and South Korea forces.

Cyber attack on Sony

North Korea stands accused by the American intelligence agencies of being behind a cyber attack last November on Sony Pictures, the studio behind the movie.

North Korea's international isolation has intensified since it first tested nuclear fissile material in 2006 and international talks broke down.

US experts believe Pyongyang has hundreds of ballistic missiles, based on old Soviet technology, placing them in reach of South Korea and Japan.

The US has about 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea as a deterrence against potential aggression from North Korea.

The Korean Peninsula remains in a technical state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

ipj/jil (AFP, AP)

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