Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Note the following news stories:

S Korea to send hand sanitizers to DPRK to help prevent flu spread
SEOUL, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- South Korea will send hand sanitizers worth one billion won (867,000 U.S. dollars) to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) by around Feb. 20 to help fight spread of A/H1N1 virus there, the government said Tuesday.
One can argue whether H1N1 is the most pressing health and development issue in North Korea but it is hard to argue that the announcement would appear to be a sign of benign intentions on Seoul's part.

Behind door #2:
Anti-Pyongyang flyers sent from South as North marks Kim's birthday
In South Korea, some 100 defectors from the North released huge balloons carrying anti- Pyongyang leaflets and small radios near the heavily fortified North-South frontier.

The protesters, shouting "Down with dictator Kim Jong-Il," attached $1 bills to the flyers in a bid to encourage North Koreans to pick them up despite the risk of punishment.
To be sure, the actions of individuals in an open and pluralistic society such as the ROK cannot and should not be taken as indicative of the "official" position of the ROK government, but it isn't hard to see how many in the DPRK might think otherwise.

One wonders whether either gesture will actually have an impact.

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