Calls For Democracy Fly Into North Korea

It is impossible to know how many North Koreans know anything about the pro-democracy unrest sweeping through the Middle East and North Africa. A safe assumption has to be ... not many.

But South Korean activists and some politicians are trying to change that, sending helium balloons skywards across the border carrying hundreds of thousands of leaflets and DVDs.

The content of the propaganda has changed. Once solely focused on piercing the cult status of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Il, it is now geared towards educating people about the anti-dictatorial revolutions that toppled regimes in Tunisia and Egypt.

One DVD sent north on February 16 -- to commemorate Kim Jong-Il's birthday -- shows footage of the Egypt uprising with text on the screen that reads: ""The lesson to be learnt from the anti-dictator, pro-democracy struggles in Tunisia and Egypt is that freedom and democracy can only be won through physical sacrifice."" The DVD was made before the unrest started in Libya.

The power of the people is now being shown to a population that has no power and little if any knowledge of the outside world. One defector tells CNN he read these propaganda leaflets before he left North Korea and DVDs showing Seoul to be a modern and affluent city helped him make the decision to escape.

And even though only a small population of the country -- mainly those closer to the border -- will ever see the propaganda, he believes it is still effective. ""You'd be lucky if 10% ever pick up a leaflet, but given the speed that word travels, I think people who hear about it could probably reach up to 50%. There are no channels of communication in the North and everything is done by word of mouth.
CNN