[Feature] Leaflet Distribution Stopped by Police

Saturday 29th June, 2013

A leaflet distribution aimed at North Korea planned for this morning was stopped by a police blockade. In the process, North Korean exile Park Sang-hak, who broke through the police blockade in an attempt to move the event to a third location, was arrested by police. He was released soon after the event.

The event, jointly organized by North Korean refugee organization ‘Free North Korea’ and international human rights organization ‘Human Rights Foundation’, aimed to distribute fliers containing messages for the North Korean people northwards from Imjingak memorial in South Korea.

The planned leaflet distribution was not accomplished, as police surrounded entry to the vehicles carrying necessary equipment. Park Sang-hak from Free North Korea said, “In order to inform my North Korean countrymen about the truth, I will continue to distribute leaflets to the North, even if the South Korean government attempt to prevent it.”

Thor Halvorssen from HRF, who took part in the event, said: “Why are you obstructing a legal event? If it is because of the threat from North Korea, South Korea is more a hostage of North Korea, than it is a democratic nation.”

Park Sang-hak revealed that they wished to move to a third location, so that they could at least hang a banner to mark the occasion. The police prevented this, and surrounded the vehicles. Park protested, and broke through the police blockade in an effort to reach the vehicles, but was arrested in the process. Upon his arrest, a fight broke out between police and members of Free North Korea. There were no major injuries.

This morning, North Korean state media KCNA had announced the following: “It must not be forgotten that Imjingak is within direct line of fire of our Western Line Post.” It put joint responsibility for the event on the US government and the Park Geun-hye administration.

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