BALLOONS SEND RADIOS TO NORTH KOREABALLOONS READY TO SEND RADIOS TO NORTH KOREANS
- The campaign to send radios into North Korea using balloons in a bid to open the closed communist country is prepared to launch. In a press conference in Seoul on August 10, Reverend Douglas Shin said organizers are ready to fly more than 20 balloons, each 6 meters tall and carrying about 30 small radios produced in China. Norbert Vollertsen, a German doctor, said power of information is the tool to open North Korean society. North Korean defectors, Hwang Ki-sok and Choi Jin Hee, welcomed the "Give an Ear to a North Korean" campaign, stressing the need to bring empower North Koreans who are hungry for accurate information.
- At the news conference, Lee Ki Taek, former professor and diplomat, stressed the importance of Voice of America’s Korean broadcast due to high-ranking North Korean policy officials who listen to the program.
MUSLIM REACTION TO JAKARTA BOMBING
- VOA Indonesian correspondent Nur Adnan reported from Jakarta that several Muslim leaders and organizations called on police not to conclude that Jemaah Islamiyah is involved in the recent bomb explosion outside the JW Marriott hotel that killed more than a dozen people and injured many others. Prominent Muslim scholar, Nurcholis Majid, said Muslims should not be made a scapegoat. Sholahuddin Wahid, chairman of the largest Muslim group, Nahdatul Ulama, said Jemaah Islamiyah is not known to many Muslims in Indonesia.
- Majid said that accusations by authorities that the Jakarta bombing is linked to Jemmah Islamiyah will only hurt relations between Muslims and the government. Meanwhile, Zainury Lubis, spokesman for the Jakarta Police, said the police did not make any accusations against a certain group. What the police said, he stressed, is that there appeared to be similarities between the Jakarta bomb blast and the Bali bombings of last year.