For the first time in eleven years, the South Korean military resumed an operation of sending packages of daily necessities to North Korea. Packages are floated into North Korea in baskets tied to large balloons, with a timer attached to the balloon to track and direct the balloons.
Since late last year, the investment has cost the military $500,000. Included in the packages are propaganda leaflets. The military sent 400,000 leaflets shortly after the Yon Pyong Island attack, and recently more than 2.6 million leaflets pertaining to the uprisings in Egypt and Libya have been sent north, comparing the hereditary dictatorships of Egypt and Libya to that of North Korea.
North Koreans are often afraid to eat anything from such food packages because the NK regime has told them they contain deadly poisons. The South Korean military therefore puts notes on the packages reading, “This is from the Republic of Korea Army. You may consume these food packages. They are safe to eat. If you don’t believe it, have your domestic animals eat them first. Do not consume the packages if the dates on the packages have expired.”
Packages include small rice packages and radios to bring outside news to them, as well as daily necessities such as medicines, medical supplies, and stationery items.
South Korean Assemblywoman Song Young Sun said, “What is happening in Egypt and Libya may happen in North Korea. A North Korean defector who arrived in South Korea in May 2010 said, ‘The people near the border have been listening to Chinese news about the uprisings in Egypt and Libya. The NK regime is viciously trying to block the news.’ ”