“This was the only way to spread the gospel to the people of North Korea”.
For the past three years, a group of North Korean Christian defectors have been sending leaflets containing bible verses tied on balloons to North Korea.
Lee Min Bok (49), who is the head of United North Korean Christian Refugees, has been the main contributor on this movement to spread the gospel. He has been well known in the past for this daring escape from North Korea as he was one of the first defectors to be officially recognized by the UN as a North Korean defector. In 1990, he escaped from North Korea and came to South Korea through Russia and China in 1995.
For three years Lee and members of the “United North Korean Christian Refugees” have been sending bible verse leaflets to North Korea by balloons. Few days ago, on September 9, Lee and four other members of the organization were sending leaflets on balloons for 2 hours (from 3 to 5 P.M) and were subsequently arrested for by the local police and National Intelligence Service officers for their suspicious activities reported by the local residents.
However, Lee is determined to press on. Lee said on September 11, “I have seen these balloons from South Korea appear when I was living in North Korea. And I will continue on with these activities.”
Lee was an agricultural researcher in North Korea. Then Lee got arrested and tortured for criticizing the enforcement of Kim Il Sung’s Juche ideology on agriculture. He defected to South Korea became a missionary.
Lee converted as a Christian while he was in Russia and graduated from seminary in South Korea and now he is whole heartedly committed to spreading the gospel to North Korea. He often travels to Kang Hwa Do, a region near the demilitarized zone, to flies the balloons with bible verses at the time when the wind blows to Northern direction. For the past three years, Lee claims to have sent over tens of thousands of bible verses to North Korea.