South Korean activists have announced their plans to send thousands of copies of the movie 'The Interview' across the border by balloon. The Hollywood comedy was decried by Pyongyang and sparked a diplomatic row.
Up to 10,000 copies of the American satire film are set to be launched by a balloon around March 26, alongside 500,000 propaganda leaflets, activists announced on Tuesday.
"We will set the exact date and location for our operation in consideration of weather conditions, but it will not be publicized," a defector from the North, Park Sang Hak, said.
Pyongyang, which considers Park as "human scum," had already threatened that the activist will "pay for his crimes in blood" if the copies of the film enter Korean territory.
The Hollywood comedy has outraged the regime in Pyongyang, which sees the film as a criticism of Kim Jong Un and the film's CIA assassination plot as a provocation. It was also a focal point of a major hacking controversy late last year.
'Nobody can stop it'
Park, who has led a series of similar events, claims he is prepared to face the threats.
"Nobody can stop it. I will keep sending leaflets into North Korea at the risk of my life," he said.
The upcoming launch will happen around the five-year anniversary of the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan in 2010, which killed 46 sailors. Seoul accuses Pyongyang of destroying the vessel, and froze almost all commercial cross-border ties after the deadly incident.
A democratic right
Pyongyang has repeatedly condemned the balloon leaflet drops and called on Seoul to ban them.
In October 2014, North Korean border guards triggered a brief exchange of machine-gun fire while trying to shoot some of the balloons down, and the North's state-run website Uriminzokkiri had recently warned that Pyongyang would respond with "not just a few shots of gunfire, but canons or missiles."
South Korea's government insists that the activists have the right to send the leaflets. Still, the authorities have appealed for restraint, in order to avoid overly provoking the North.
dj/sb (AFP, Lusa)