North Korean defectors living in South Korea have sent food and gifts to their compatriots using balloons, ahead of their Lunar New Year.
Ten balloons were floated over the border, stocked with chocolate, DVDs and leaflets. The leaflets contain phrases such as “Down with the dictatorship!” while the DVDs contain video of people’s lives in South Korea.
It has been reported by a United Nation Special Rapporteur that the number of people fleeing the country has increased since the death of former leader Kim Jong-il.
One of those sending the balloons said: “North Korean civilians must now be preparing for Lunar New Year holidays, but most of them must be grieving due to lack of food.”
North Korea’s dysfunctional food-distribution system, along with sanctions imposed over the country’s nuclear and missiles programmes, and the raising price of global commodities, have all led to an apparent hunger crisis in the North.