Activists Float 10,000 Forbidden Sweets to North Korea Inside Giant Balloons
Activists send Choco Pies across border into North Korea after Pyongyang regime crackdown on the coveted snack
Maybe you’ve heard of Choco Pies, but in case you haven’t, they’re chocolate-covered marshmallow cake sandwiches — so basically, taste-bud nirvana.
Sadly, these chocolatey treats are banned in North Korea because leaders fear that they promote western ideals.
The cakes were initially offered as perks to North Koreans who worked in South Korean factories on the joint industrial zone. Korea Biz Wire writes that as the treats became increasingly in demand in North Korea “workers could earn money more than their wages by selling Choco Pies on the black market.”
According to domestic media reports in Seoul, the emergence of a South Korean snack as an unofficial currency became too much for the authorities in Pyongyang who in May ordered the factory owners to stop handing them out.
Instead of eating the tasty treats, most employees hoarded them, selling them at 2,000 percent of their regular price. Choco Pies typically cost about 50 cents, but are sold in for around $10 in NK.
“Embarrassed by the growing popularity of Choco Pie, North Korea banned it as a symbol of capitalism,” said Choo Sun-Hee, one of the organizers of balloon launch.
About 200 anti-Pyongyang activists released 50 helium balloons carrying 350kg (770lbs) of snacks, including 10,000 Choco Pies, from a park in the border city of Paju, organizers of the event said.
“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.
Obviously, the South Koreans can’t ensure that the chocolate treats will end up in the hands of those who want them most, but hey, at least they’re trying.
South Korean activists regularly launch balloons, usually carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets, across the border.
Pyongyang has repeatedly pressed Seoul to stop the activists and threatened to shell the launch sites.