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Defector activist indicted over last year's anti-N.K. leafleting

National 11:02 January 28, 2022

SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors have indicted a vocal North Korean defector and activist known for anti-Pyongyang leafleting on charges of attempting to send propaganda leaflets and other items aboard balloons to the North last year, sources said Friday.

Park Sang-hak, the head of Fighters for a Free North Korea, a North Korean defectors' group, is accused of having sent a total of 10 balloons carrying propaganda leaflets and booklets as well as US$1 bills toward the North from the border provinces of Gyeonggi and Gangwon on two occasions in April.

Prosecutors are said to have indicted Park on charges of an attempted violation of the Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act as they could not confirm whether the balloons actually arrived in North Korea.

Under the revised law, which took effect in March, the act of sending propaganda leaflets across the border is banned and violators can face up to three years in prison or a maximum fine of 30 million won (US$25,000).

Park has also been investigated on allegations that he sent the leaflets back in 2020 but was not indicted on the case as it was before the revised law went into effect.

He currently faces a separate indictment on charges of receiving illicit donations from 2015-19.

This Jan. 25, 2022, file photo shows North Korean defector and activist Park Sang-hak heading to a courtroom at the Seoul Central District Court to attend a hearing. (Yonhap)
Park Sang-hak, an anti-Pyongyang activist, holds up a placard denouncing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in this photo provided by his activist group. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

nyway@yna.co.kr
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