To N. Korea With Love: Interview Gets Balloon Drop

Defector is balloon-dropping DVDs from South Korea
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2015 8:06 AM CDT
In this Dec. 22, 2014, file photo, a South Korean soldier walks near a TV screen showing an ad of "The Interview" at the Seoul railway station.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)
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(Newser) – There was no red carpet and no lines, but The Interview has apparently made its debut in North Korea. A North Korean defector tells AFP that since January he's balloon-dropped thousands of copies of one of the more infamous flicks in recent memory, with his most recent cross-border launch occurring Saturday—from the back of a truck in South Korea under cover of night. But don't mistake Lee Min-bok for a big fan: He found the Seth Rogen film "vulgar" and didn't watch it the whole way through, he tells CNN, which went along for the ride on the latest drop of 80,000 copies; how many the winds took to their intended destination is unknown. "The regime hates this film because it shows Kim Jong Un as a man, not a God," says Lee. "He cries and is afraid like us and then he's assassinated."

Lee's drops are an anti-Pyongyang care package of sorts: He attaches dollar bills and propaganda leaflets to the helium-filled balloons, which he's launched four times this year. But though Seoul's soldiers and police carefully watch Lee, they don't move to stop him, notes CNN. "Our stance is that we continue to acknowledge the freedom of individuals to publicize their opinions," a rep from South Korea's Unification ministry tells AFP. Adds Lee: "If you tell the truth in North Korea, you die. But by using these balloons from here, I can tell the truth in safety." (Click for 7 weird film-related bans.)

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