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North Korea Threatens To Kill Human Rights Group

A blustery statement promises to kill the "thieving Americans" trying to get supplies into North Korea.

Posted on June 27, 2013, at 9:39 a.m. ET

Kcna / Reuters

People attend a mass rally marking the "day of struggle against U.S. imperialism" at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang June 25.

WASHINGTON — The North Korean government is threatening to kill a group of activists from the Human Rights Foundation when they attempt to launch balloons full of supplies from South Korea into North Korea on Saturday, according to a government release.

"The Kim's have promised to kill us on Saturday," Thor Halvorssen, director of the Human Rights Foudnation, said in an email Thursday.

The North Korean government's release is titled, "We will destroy Imjingak, in its entirety," according to a translation by James Pearson and Sinui Kim of the N.K. News website, and it refers to Halvorssen's group as "thieving Americans" who are in league with the "puppet government" (South Korea).

The foundation is planning to team up with Freedom Fighters of North Korea, a refugee organization based in South Korea, to launch balloons filled with anti-Kim regime leaflets, electronics, and chocolates from the border into North Korea. The regime's statement blasts HRF for the leaflets in particular, saying that they will "include lies, scheming and provocations that distort and blaspheme our Republic's bright reality."

"The Ministry of People's Security has already declared a that we will take 'practical measures' to physically eliminate the kind of human scum that commits such high treason –– treason that is encouraged by the puppet government [SouthKorea] and thieving Americans," the government announcement says.

The timing is perfect for us: the targets of our punishment will, by themselves [their own doing], walk straight into our merciless [gun]sights, where we will keep them–wherever they may hide–and slit their throats.

Our army will never miss the chance to annihilate and firmly punish such arch traitors who are not worth the air their breathe.

No matter how large or cruel the result of our attack, the responsibility will lie on the puppet regime for producing such dirty propaganda leaflets. When the time comes, it will be too late to regret the rashness [of your actions].

We're going to warning [sic] you brothers of the Human Rights Foundation, you should realize that if you so much as haunt Imjingak––the platform of our people's judgement––with your presence and act as human shields for refugees who have already been sentenced to death [by North Korea], you will become a Hwangcheongaek [kind of like saying 'we'll buy you a one­way ticket to hell', we'll 'send you to heaven', or 'make you kick the bucket', 'you will die', etc]. So, you had better go back home as soon as possible.

On the 29th, we will prove to you that our threat/warning is not a hollow one, by creating a terrible scene on that fated day.

Despite the rhetoric, Halvorssen's group plans to go ahead with the balloon launch.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.