Editor’s note: Since 1995, WorldNetDaily’s roving international
correspondent Anthony C. LoBaido has made 11 trips to the Korean
peninsula. Since Western journalists generally have difficulty gaining
access to North Korea, WorldNetDaily’s trip into that forbidden land
involved careful planning, multiple passports and assumed identities.
LoBaido’s extensive Korean experiences, in both north and south, have
enabled him to unearth many mysteries in the secretive and increasingly
belligerent rogue nation of North Korea.
ByAnthony C. LoBaido
© 1999 WorldNetDaily.com
AT THE KOREAN DEMILITARIZED ZONE —
As the witching hour of 3 a.m.
approached on a chilly night earlier this month, an odd collection of
devout believers assembled to complete a secretive bi-weekly ritual.
Dressed completely in black, the group stood near the high,
barbed-wired fence that separates North and South Korea — the last
symbol of the Cold War. High overhead, the crystal clear sky gleamed
with countless stars. Every so often, an odd meteor or “shooting star”
would blaze across the sky, as if to emphasize the grandeur of the
Working methodically and with great care, these 12 people, including
two U.S. Army soldiers and 10 Koreans — a housewife, two children, two
Black Beret soldiers from South Korea’s elite Special Forces, a pastor,
two teenagers, a doctor and a garbage man — began filling up 99 large
red balloons with compressed air they’d brought with them in a tank.
Their object: Communicate with the unfortunate souls trapped in the
despotic and ever-more-threatening northland. Indeed, as WND discovered,
current ominous trends in North Korea include: the internment of
thousands of political and religious dissidents in concentration camps;
the raiding of over $8 billion from Japanese credit unions; the mass
counterfeiting of American $100 bills; the frantic development of
biological, chemical and even nuclear weapons, as well as the long-range
ballistic missile technology to deliver them; the bogus exchange of
“weapons facility” inspection rights for massive Western food aid, which
in turn is stockpiled, along with oil and technology, as part of North
Korea’s ongoing war preparation efforts against the south.
One of the teenagers, a young Korean girl named Mi Song, (which means
“Beautiful Star” in Korean) began to sing a little song while she worked
to fill the balloons.
As she sang, her frozen breath was visible in the dark stillness of
the night. In an unintended tribute to globalization, the young Asian
girl sang a German pop song in the English language at the North Korean
“Ninety-nine red balloons went floating in the winter sky … Back at
the base flashed the message, ‘Something’s out there!’ Floating in the
winter sky — ninety-nine red balloons go by.”
The balloons of which the young girl sang were no ordinary balloons,
however. Written on them in Korean characters were various Bible
references and passages.
“We’re with you!” read one balloon. “Don’t give up hope!” exhorted
another. “Your day of liberation is at hand,” and “You are not
forgotten,” adorned yet more balloons. “Jehovah Nissi — God is our
Banner” was another popular slogan. A passage from the Book of John
(John 10:10) was written on yet another.
“Na-noon mani chupta!” said one of the Korean Black Berets. “I’m very
“Nay. Jesu-nim oh-jay-toon!” replied the pastor. “Yes, but Jesus is
Our Honorable Lord anyway.”
When the appropriate time came, the two Korean soldiers gathered the
group into a circle for prayer. Shortly thereafter came the release of
the balloons, one by one, until finally all of them were gone.
The balloons climbed silently into the night sky, ever higher, up to
a certain high altitude before they fall back to earth.
If the 12 participants judged the air currents correctly, as was
their fervent hope, the balloons would fall among the more than 250,000
North Korean citizens who currently are being worked to death in
Stalinist-style gulags and re-education camps within the rogue nation.
The group watched the balloons ascend into the silent darkness of the
night. The air was still, though in due course the wind picked up from
the south — unusual for December — and helped send the balloons over
their intended targets as though powered by an unseen celestial force.
The presence of such a group of committed Christians residing in
South Korea should not come as a surprise. Despite the moral meltdown
in the late 1990s in the south — known as “Shinsadae” or “The New
Generation,” millions of South Korean Christians are still determined to
help their persecuted blood brothers and sisters in the north.
“This has been the driving force behind my ministry,” said pastor Kim
Jung Min in an interview with WorldNetDaily. Kim has been launching the
scripture balloons into North Korean airspace since the 1980s.
“Our members have been shot at by North Korean border guards, but
nothing is going to stop us from coming up here. Those herded like
animals in North Korea’s concentration camps must know that we are
praying for them, and working for their release.”
Kim told WorldNetDaily he believes that South Korea’s mass abortion
of females — most Korean men want sons — means that in the future,
South Korean boys will have to marry North Korean girls to ensure the
very survival of their culture, race and history.
“It might be the only real factor in which reunification is
essentially necessary,” Kim said.
Sunshine no more
The “Sunshine Policy” of South Korean President Kim Dae Jung has
been to seek closer ties to Communist North Korea in the form of short
mountain excursions into the North by curious South Korean tourists, and
food aid and investment in the North by the South’s mega-corporations,
called chaebols. But the policy has failed to dissuade the North from
continuing to arm itself for war. Worse still, the policy has not even
begun to address the issue of one quarter million Christians and other
political and religious dissidents languishing in North Korean
“It’s amazing that Roger Clinton, our commander-in-chief’s
half-brother, can go to North Korea and play in a concert like he’s the
reincarnation of Billy Carter going to Libya,” says Demetria Johnson, a
supply sergeant in the U.S. Army at Camp Casey. An African-American,
Johnson, who is active in her Southern Baptist Church in her home town
of Montgomery, Alabama, spoke with WorldNetDaily on the evening of this
particular “balloon launch.”
“Yet, neither Roger nor Bill Clinton will even mention the Christians
being worked to death in the North Korean gulags,” she added.
Long an international bad boy, North Korea has grown in the scope and
severity of its outrages over the years.
To begin with, there was the counterfeiting of American $100 bills.
Having stolen U.S. printing presses and the formula for the currency
pulp and paper, North Korea manufactures copies of the “new” U.S. $100
bills of such high quality that it has had to modify its counterfeiting
process downward, because the bills looked better than the U.S.
Then there’s opium smuggling, the selling of missile technology to
Iran, Libya and Egypt, the abductions of Japanese citizens and the
lobbing of missiles over Tokyo.
But that’s just the beginning. Less well known than some of these
outrages is the fact that North Korea has raided over $8 billion from
Japanese credit unions, set up in Japan by North Korean citizens after
the Korean War. Japan allowed these credit unions to flourish because
ethnic Koreans were suffering discrimination from Japanese banks.
These credit unions, controlled by a Korean political movement based
in Japan known as “Chrongryun,” have joined forces with the ruling
Liberal Democratic Party in Japan — and the infamous Yakuza mafia — to
siphon off $8 billion to North Korea. Japan, for its part, has minimized
this economic treason by offering a $10 billion bailout to the credit
unions. No investigation will be conducted into the matter, according
to Japanese officials contacted by WorldNetDaily. However, North Korea
continues to abduct high-level officials of the credit unions to assure
their future compliance.
Other lesser-known malevolent misdeeds on the part of North Korea
include sending its special forces to the Marxist Congo to shore up that
teetering regime and dig for uranium for its fledgling nuclear weapons
program. Such adventuring is not new for North Korea, which in 1983 sent
mercenaries to Zimbabwe to help slaughter 30,000 black anti-communist
Matabele tribesmen who opposed the Marxist government of Robert Mugabe.
Above all, North Korea continues to build for war. The country’s
continued development of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons is
matched by its rapid advance in developing delivery systems capable of
raining these weapons of mass destruction, not only on the Pacific Rim,
but on the United States of America.
North Korea’s buildup of biological and biochemical weapons at its
top-secret base at Shingye — reportedly with 10 different strains,
including anthrax — has forced the U.S. military to draft Plan 5027,
which calls for emergency measures to be taken against North Korea’s
Estimates by the South Korean military are that up to half of Seoul’s
12 million citizens would be killed by a single North Korean biological
attack launched on her modified, Russia-produced SCUD missiles.
Into the mouth of madness
What’s going on inside North Korea has always been, to a large
extent, a great mystery to the West. At the DMZ, North Korea has
constructed posh-looking apartment buildings to falsely project the
image of prosperity in the nation. North Korea’s official website, which has a Japan-based web
administrator, is filled with propaganda and denunciations of America’s
military alliance with South Korea.
Defections over the past several years by North Korean military
pilots and high level diplomats have revealed that part of North Korea’s
preparations for waging war on the South include stockpiling Western
food aid, heavy oil and technology.
Additionally, North Korean defectors stated that Russia has given
them daily satellite photos of U.S. and South Korean military bases in
“Everyone knows that just about everything is for sale in Russia,”
said U.S. Sen. John McCain in a personal interview with this writer for
WorldNetDaily. “I don’t believe, however, that North Korea has the
military industrial complex needed for a long, sustained war against the
The warnings of these brave defectors — who in most cases leave
behind loved ones to risk life in North Korean concentration camps, and
who are called “criminals” and “human scum” by the North’s Internet
news site — have been ignored
by the Clinton administration.
As for why the Clinton administration seems to be unable to
understand the true nature of North Korea’s intentions,
U.S. Army Col. Al Knight told WorldNetDaily, “We spent a lot of time,
money and energy spying on South Korean chaebols in order to position
American banks and corporations to cash in on the 1997 Asian meltdown.”
“I am the IMF. You are the IMF,” said Col. Knight. “That’s who runs
the show in Korea. We guarantee our allies access to credit, oil and
technology. We won’t abandon South Korea. But they will never really
unite with the North. There will probably never be trials for North
Korean atrocities. Our main concern is stopping actual unification
because a reunited Korea will attack Japan.”
Knight was referring to the Koreans’ collective rage against Japan’s
brutal occupation of Korea between 1910 and 1945.
While the U.S. military industrial complex continues to focus on
spying on South Korea’s chaebols and missile program, North Korea
continues to defy analysis.
During WorldNetDaily’s recent trip to North Korea, it was learned
that the United States sent a large amount of food aid to North Korea in
exchange for the chance to inspect the Kumchangri “weapons facility.”
But the U.S. investigators found nothing more than a gigantic empty
space staring back at them.
“Such boondoggles might be one reason that Japan is currently racing
to develop its own spy satellites, so it won’t have to rely on the U.S.
in regard to North Korea,” said Shin Dong Min, a Japan expert who worked
with South Korean military intelligence.
Most Americans might wonder just how the North Korean “basket case”
can fool the entire spying arm of the Central Intelligence Agency, the
Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and U.S.
The desperation of the U.S. in regard to North Korea is such that the
CIA launched the Stargate project — a psychic think tank that paid $20
million to Western psychics to “find” North Korea’s nuclear weapons.
According to Jessica Utts, a professor at the University of
California, Davis, who analyzed the CIA’s data, “The program was
successful to some degree. The psychics are accurate around 15 percent
of the time.”
The signs of hunger and deprivation inside North Korea are
everywhere. Most of the people are malnourished, and many cut down trees
to eat the bark and roots.
North Korea’s dictator Kim Jongil is a cognac-guzzling womanizer who
fancies Swedish prostitutes and Daffy Duck cartoon videos. He enjoys an
almost god-like status among the people, who are taught that he is the
inventor of most modern technologies, and that he actually walked on the
Since North Koreans are led to believe that foreign visitors are CIA
spies, none of them would talk with WorldNetDaily for fear of raising
the ire of Communist Party officials. North Korean women are not
allowed to shake hands with foreigners, and the acceptance of any gift
or money, no matter how small the amount, would land the recipient in a
Yet, WorldNetDaily did manage to meet with a North Korean family who
had secretly copied the entire Old and New Testament in Korean
characters, by hand, in their home — which was nothing more than a hut
with a dirt floor and a leaky roof.
“Yes, there are many thousands in the gulags here,” said the father
of the family in Korean. “Most of them are Christians. Everyone knows
it, but no one dares speak of it.”
Miraculously, the man, known by his neighbors as the courageous and
righteous Mr. Lee, keeps the tattered remains of a red balloon inside of
his homemade, hand-copied Bible.
“Tell our brothers and sisters to keep sending up the balloons,” Lee
“They’re the only things we have to keep us hopeful for a better
Anthony C. LoBaido is a
roving international correspondent for WorldNetDaily.