Monday, July 30, 2012

Despite disruptions, VOM continues to launch gospel balloons into North Korea

VOM has been launching scriptures into
North Korea for over 40 years. This photo was first
published in our newsletter in 1969.
To reach North Koreans with the love of Christ, our sister mission, Seoul USA, launches balloons filled with Bibles and other Christian literature into the “Hermit Kingdom.” In April, they began attaching GPS tracking devices to the balloons to further refine their launch effectiveness.

However, seven days after the first launch equipped with GPS tracking, North Korea began widely blocking GPS signals originating in South Korea.

"North Korea has been jamming GPS signals on and off since April 28," says the Rev. Eric Foley, CEO of Seoul USA. "The jamming disrupts passenger air flights and ships. They'll stop for a few days, deny that they did it, and then start the jamming all over again. The South says the jamming signals are coming from somewhere near the southwestern city of Kaesong, near the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas. This is precisely the area where Seoul USA's payloads have been shown to land."

Foley notes that the jamming reveals just how concerned North Korea is over the balloon launches. "North Korea doesn't fear military might. They have the fourth largest army on the planet – 1.2 million soldiers. And they have the largest contingent of Special Forces in the world, even more than the United States or China. Economic sanctions don't really slow them down – 80% of their economy is underground. They make a billion dollars a year from weapons sales, heroin trafficking, and money laundering. But what does concern them is the spread of the gospel, which is the only direct and serious challenge to the message that Kim Il Sung is god and that he and his offspring deserve the unquestioned allegiance of the North Korean people."

To stop the spread of that message, says Foley, North Korea will stop at nothing. But VOM remains just as committed to sharing God’s love. We have been launching scripture balloons into North Korea for over 40 years, and will continue to do so for as long as the Lord leads. VOM also helps equip and train North Korean defectors who desire to tell other North Koreans about Christ’s love.

To learn more about VOM’s work in North Korea and the difficulty Christians face there, contact our office and request a copy of our July 2012 newsletter, or visit our online North Korea Country Report. If you would like to support balloon launches or other VOM projects in North Korea, please consider making a donation.

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