Gov’t recommended to reverse decision to revoke defector group’s license over anti-North leafleting

The Seoul High Court has recommended that the government reverse its 2020 decision to revoke the organizational license of a North Korean defectors' group for sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets over to the North, sources said Thursday.

The recommendation was made Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by the Fighters for a Free North Korea to reverse the Unification Ministry's decision to retract its nonprofit organization license given to the group, according to the legal sources.

The ministry revoked the group's license after it sent plastic balloons carrying some 500,000 anti-North propaganda flyers northward across the inter-Korean border in defiance of the government's ban on such activities.

If either the plaintiff or the defendant objects to the recommendation, the court will resume its deliberations to come up with an official ruling on the case.

The recommendation came after the Supreme Court struck down two previous rulings in favor of the ministry and sent the case back to the high court for retrial in April.

In 2021, a revision to the Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act went into force during the previous Moon Jae-in administration to prohibit the launching of anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border on the grounds that such leafleting could provoke the North to undertake bellicose acts.

Critics have said the law stifles the freedom of expression.

In South Korea, North Korean defector groups, like the Fighters for a Free North Korea, send big plastic balloons carrying leaflets over to the North in what they say is a bid to free North Korean people from the tyrant North Korean regime with outside information.

Source: Yonhap News Agency