South Korea Officially Bans Balloon Launches Into North Korea

The photo shows South Korean activists releasing balloons in 2014. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

The government of South Korea has officially banned the practice of launching balloons into North Korea. The resolution passed only after opposing politicians tried to stop the process with a filibuster. It’s the first law of its kind; South Korean activists often take advantage of favorable winds to get leaflets or even money across the border. Read more about the situation here.

Many worry this law could infringe on the freedom of speech in the country. Eric Foley of Voice of the Martyrs Korea explains. “On the one hand, the legislators who passed it say, ‘Well, no, this is really narrowly focused to make sure the people who will be penalized are people who put Korean South Korean citizens’ lives in danger through balloon launching.’ But on the other hand, the language itself of the law is quite broad. And in fact, as numerous analysts have pointed out, it actually criminalizes things that are very difficult to prosecute: for example, the intent to launch balloons.”

Using balloons to spread the Gospel

Christians have often used balloon launching to get the Gospel into North Korea, but recently South Korean authorities have been stopping them. Foley sees this new law as an admission that no previous laws banned balloon launches. Read more about Voice of the Martyrs Korea’s operation here and here.

Foley even faces charges for his past balloon launches. “As a person who’s being prosecuted, I want people to understand I’m not worried. I believe that there’s much more going on here than legislative power. I think God’s hand is at work, I know God’s hand is at work. And that’s why I have a deep peace about this.”

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SOURCE: Mission News Network, Kevin Zeller


  • Pray for Christian brothers and sisters in North Korea, that Jesus would strengthen them.
  • Pray the Gospel would continue to spread in North Korea.
  • Ask God to comfort Foley as he faces charges for getting the Gospel into North Korea.