A human-rights group has found a way to possible circumvent the tight net preventing outside information from reaching North Koreans who are fed a steady stream of misinformation from dictator Kim Jong Un’s propaganda machine.
Led by North Korean defector, Jung Gwang Il, the Korean rights group No Chain began delivering storage devices such as flash drives containing videos via UAV. Although few details have been provided as to the exact model of drone, reporters who were shown photos from Jung’s phone say it resembled a quad-copter and looks like a “spider.”
The videos and other information delivered by drones carry videos detailing North Korea’s dismal human rights record. Dissident contacts within North Korea are informed by an undisclosed method as to the location of the drone drop-offs. Jung says the group informs North Koreans of the work he and others are doing to catalog human-rights abuses by Kim Jong Un’s administration.
During a recent press conference, Jung said he was confined to a political prison camp for three years, endured torture and witnessed 26 inmates die via execution or malnutrition.
“I have personally buried scores of prisoners,” Jung said. “It’s easier to understand if it comes from a defector,” he added, referring to the videos.
The Pyongyang regime restricts information flow across the nation’s borders and largely blocks access to outside, non-governmental websites. Within the human-rights community, No Chain’s efforts are the first reported use of drones to carry information to North Koreans. Previous attempts have included balloons carrying leaflets, many of which were shot down by North Korean soldiers.
Often, smuggling via drone is reported in a negative light involving the delivery of illegal substances into prisons.
In July, a drone reportedly dropped a package of drugs into an Ohio prison yard while inmates were outside, sparking a fight. A spokeswoman for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said the drone-delivered parcel contained almost a quarter of an ounce of heroin, over 2 ounces of marijuana and more than 5 ounces of tobacco.
In March, a DJI Phantom was deployed in an attempt to smuggle drugs and weapons into a high security prison in England. The drone carried a package containing drugs, mobile phones, screwdrivers and a knife. The craft reportedly become enmeshed in the prison’s razor wire and was retrieved by guards.
However, drones are also being used to smuggle medicine and other needed supplies into war-torn nations where such deliveries would normally be in danger from anti-aircraft weapons if delivered by conventional aircraft.
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