A year after North Korea cracked down on Choco Pies—marshmallow-filled chocolate cakes originating in South Korea—activists in South Korea sent thousands of the beloved confections over the border via helium balloons, AFP reports. South Korean activists regularly launch balloons, usually carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets, across the border.
North Koreans working in South Korean factories in a joint industrial zone received the confections as perks, but their rarity in the North boosted their value and they soon became a sought after commodity. By 2010, according to South Korean media, more than 2 million were traded on the black market every month. Last May, authorities in Pyongyang ordered the factories to stop handing out Choco Pies.
"Embarrassed by the growing popularity of Choco Pie, North Korea banned it as a symbol of capitalism," said Choo Sun-Hee, one of the organisers of Wednesday's balloon launch.
"We will continue to send Choco Pie by balloons because it is still one of the most popular foodstuffs, especially among hungry North Koreans," Choo told AFP.
Pyongyang has repeatedly pressed Seoul to stop the activists and threatened to shell the launch sites.
(more at source)
Source: The Guardian via AFP; Photo is by Ahn Young-joon, Associated Press, at Time.