Hack North Korea: Information Black Market

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) leads the Hack North Korea initiative aimed at disrupting the information monopoly controlled by dictatorship. The Kim Regime does not allow free, independent media. Punishment for political opposition and defiance includes sentencing to the harshest prisons on Earth or death – for you and your family.

HRF’s Hack North Korea effort is a gathering of defectors, engineers, technologists, activists, designers and investors for smuggling information to North Korean people.

“physically eliminate the kind of human scum that commits such treason.” – Pyongyang promised

Hack North Korea Ideas & Efforts

North KoreaLast August a Hackathon hosted by the Human Rights Foundation and venture capitalist Alexander Lloyd united Silicon Valley experts with refugees to brainstorm. Current efforts include:

  • Balloons carrying leaflets, USB drives, and DVDs
  • Short and medium-wave radio broadcasts
  • Physically smuggling equipment across the North Korea/Chinese border

Hack North Korea began in 2013 when HRF began its work with Fighters for a Free North Korea. Unlike recent efforts, weather balloons carrying information were launched from South Korea over the North Korean border. Characters on the balloons read, “The regime must fall.” Their payloads were carrying copies of the Korean-language Wikipedia, transistor radios and pro-Democracy leaflets.

Hack North Korea is funded by venture capitalist and angel investor Alexander Lloyd. He is the founder and managing director of Accelerator Ventures, a 10-year-old venture fund focused on seed-stage investments. Prior to his work with Accelerator, Alexander’s bailiwick includes time with Microsoft, Activision, and Apple Computers.

Also read: White House Responds to Sony Hack

Balloon Launch Site Is Within Range of Direct Strike

“The U.S. and the present puppet authorities of South Korea should not forget even a moment that the Rimjin Pavilion,” the balloon launch site, “is within the range of direct sighting strike.”

In the past, North Korea has threatened to shell South Korea in response to the launches. Seoul denied involvement, despite claims of provocation. South Korean police have been known to shut down such launches, citing claims of security from residents. Hack North Korea has not been specifically identified.

Hack North Korea: Park Sang Hak
Park Sang Hak

Leader of the Fighters for a Free North Korea, Hackaton participant Park Sang Hak, is familiar with the lengths North Korean tyrants will go to get their way. In 2011, South Korean intelligence learned Pyongyang declared Park “Enemy Zero.” An assassin was dispatched to Seoul to murder Park with a poisoned pen. The assassin phoned Park posing as a visitor from Japan interested in helping the movement. Park was alerted by South Korean intelligence prior to his arranged meeting with the would-be investor and escaped demise.

Park is a defector of North Korea. After graduating from college, he was given a job at the government propaganda office in Pyongyang. Park’s father was a North Korean intelligence agent posing as a businessman in Hong Kong. In late 1999, fearing for his life if he returned to North Korea, Park’s father had a message smuggled to his family in North Korea – “Flee to China.”

After bribing North Korean guards, Park, and his brothers swam across the river to China, floating their mother and sisters on innertubes. Once across the border, a car arranged by their father picked them up and smuggled them to South Korea using false passports. Following the escape, an uncle who remained in North Korea was beaten to death in retaliation.

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Images from Human Rights Foundation, Telegraph, Wikimedia Commons, Astrelok and Shutterstock.