Propaganda Wars: South Korea Tries ‘Balloon Diplomacy’ With Northern Neighbors

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Defectors and conservative activists release balloons carrying leaflets condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on December 18, 2010.

KIM JAE-HWAN / AFP / Getty Images

Seoul is using an old-school method — leaflet bombing — to tell its northern neighbors about events in the Middle East.

(More from TIME.com: See rare and extraordinary pictures from inside North Korea.)

As part of its ongoing campaign to win over North Koreans, South Korea has once again turned to “balloon diplomacy,” sending gas-filled balloons skyward with messages and goodies in tow. Although the exact content of the messages is not known, they are believed to reference recent anti-government protests in Egypt and Libya.

According to Reuters, the campaign is aimed at inciting North Koreans to think about “change.”  It’s not quite “Yes We Can,” but perhaps it’s a start?  Maybe, though few seem optimistic that the Hermit Kingdom will rise up against its Dear Leader, Kim Jong Il.

“Compared to some of these Arab societies, they have done a much more effective job in maintaining control over the public,” a rep from the Korea Institute for National Unification told Reuters. “You’re never going to be able to predict a collapse until the day it happens, but even then, this is a much more perfectly closed society with control over information and travel.”

(More from TIME.com: See photographs of Kim Jong Il.)

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