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North Koreans Learn of Protests—by Balloon

South Korea drops pro-democracy leaflets on North
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Suggested by Sauerkraut
Posted Feb 25, 2011 9:16 AM CST
Jasmine Revolution Spreading to North Korea?
An image of North Korea's heir apparent Kim Jong Un, center, is shown during a performance to celebrate the 69th birthday of Kim Jong Il, in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, Feb. 16, 2011.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

(Newser) – The South Korean military is using balloons to drop leaflets on the North that tell of the unrest in the Middle East, hoping to spark an uprising against Pyongyang, Bloomberg reports. The leaflets explain that "a dictatorial regime is destined to collapse," says an official. The South has sent some 3 million leaflets in the North's direction since the November attack on Yeonpyeong Island. Meanwhile, some reports say protests in the North, likely related to food shortages, have already begun, notes the Asia Times.

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According to the South’s top-selling paper, “Hundreds of people clashed with security forces” in the North, and “the military was deployed to quell the demonstration.” Though the protest began after a crackdown in a market, it was "an eruption of long pent-up discontent," explained the paper. (Click for more on North Korea's food woes.)

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