RYAN LIPPERT WRITES- In the midst of heightened tensions due to annual military drills between the U.S. and South Korea, the North Korean government has announced that they will not hesitate to respond to certain future transgressions by the South with overwhelming force. What are these transgressions, you ask? Dropping pieces of paper and DVDs from balloons.
That’s right. The Hermit Kingdom’s leaders have made it clear that if South Korean activists go through with their plans to distribute “The Interview” and other prohibited media to North Korean citizens via balloon airdrop, there will be consequences, as they consider it an act of war perpetrated by the South Korean government.
North Korean authorities have made it known through their state-run media that they intend to not only shoot these balloons, but also carry out “double and treble merciless retaliatory strikes” if their actions are questioned. They have stated that if these airdrops take place, South Korean civilians who live near the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) should keep their distance so they are not killed or injured by the North’s response to “the reckless acts of the confrontational villains.”
Some may like to think that the North Korean government is simply trying to protect its citizens from seeing such average comedies as “The Interview” so they can spend their time watching more critically acclaimed films. However, this is probably not the case. “The Interview” is about the assassination of Kim Jong-un, and both the movie and the pamphlets in the balloons may teach North Koreans exactly what their government does not want them to know.
Only in a state where the government has absolute control over the media would sending prohibited media content via balloons be treated the same way other countries treat foreign invasions or bombings.