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Park Sang Hak

Park Sang Hak is a North Korean defector and democracy activist. Park worked at a propaganda unit of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League until 1999, when his father, a former spy for the government, defected with his family to South Korea. Since then, Park has worked for the democratization of his homeland. He is the chairman of Fighters for a Free North Korea, an organization that uses balloons to send human rights and pro-democracy literature, DVDs, USB drives, and transistor radios from South Korea into North Korea. Because of his work, Park was the target of a foiled assassination attempt in 2011 at the hands of a North Korean spy using poisoned needles. In 2013 and 2015, Park and Human Rights Foundation’s Thor Halvorssen attempted to drop anti-regime leaflets, media, transistor radios, and 2,000 copies of the film The Interview into North Korea via balloons. Some attempts were successful while others met with protests and confrontations with the South Korean police. Park was a recipient of the 2013 Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent.

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