The Interview is a comedy that North Korea finds so threatening that, according to the FBI, they hacked Sony Pictures in an attempt to prevent its release. While the film is available in North America thanks to indie cinemas and video-on-demand, a movie-like plot has been hatched to bring The Interview into North Korea by much more archaic means: Balloon drop.
Activist Park Sang-hak, a North Korean defector, and the Human Rights Foundation have announced plans to drop over 100,000 DVDs and USBs featuring the controversial film with Korean subtitles into supreme leader Kim Jong-un’s domain. “North Korea’s absolute leadership will crumble if the idolization of leader Kim breaks down,” Park told the AP.
Like The Interview itself, where an interview between James Franco’s Dave Skylark and Kim Jong-un shatters the dictator’s cult of personality in North Korea, organizers hope the comedy will open North Koreans’ eyes regarding their supreme leader. The DVDs and USBs will be delivered to activists next month, but the drop itself won’t occur until March, when the northern winds will be more suitable for the mission.
However, the balloon drop might be more headline-grabbing gesture than spark that causes a revolution. As the AP notes, computers and DVD players are incredibly rare among the North Korean population because they require the government’s permission to own one. Analysts also estimate that it costs the average worker three months’ salary to even purchase a computer.
Many South Korean border agencies are also against the balloon drop for fear of provoking their northern neighbors. However, politicians in Seoul aren’t stopping The Interview operation as that would violate the country’s freedom of speech, an important right that separates the South from the North.