North Korean first lady Ri Sol Ju (L) was depicted on the cover of a pornographic DVD that was included in defector balloon launches in the South, according to a South Korean press report. File Photo by Rodong Sinmun/EPA
June 30 (UPI) -- Russia's top envoy to North Korea said defectors in the South provoked Pyongyang with pornographic material depicting North Korean first lady Ri Sol Ju, according to a Russian press report.
Russian Ambassador to North Korea Aleksandr Matsegora told Russia's Tass news agency on Monday the North Korean government was reacting strongly to the launch of helium balloons in the South because defectors included manipulated images of Ri.
"Since the [balloon launches] included nasty and insulting propaganda against the North Korean leader's wife, and the propaganda was created in an indecent way using Photoshop, it also caused strong anger among the North Korean leadership, as well as among" the North Korean people, Matsegora said.
According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, among the material defector groups sent on May 31 were pornographic DVDs, with the title "The Love of Sol Ju."
The DVD cover included an image of Ri's face and that of former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, who mentored current President Moon Jae-in during a previous administration.
The DVD's original title, "Love of Seoul," had been replaced with the images and the title referring to the North Korean leader's wife, according to Yonhap. The DVD also included the original Japanese text explaining the film's content -- the "dream of love" among Japanese women for "Korean male hotties," Yonhap reported Tuesday.
North Korea's Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun had stated on June 13 "slandering the highest dignity" of North Korea was a "more dangerous threat" than large-scale joint military exercises.
Park Sang-hak, head of defector group Fighters for a Free North Korea, took part in the leafleting on May 31. Park had not commented on the DVD by Tuesday.
News 1 reported Park underwent an 8-hour police interrogation in Seoul after being charged with violating an inter-Korea cooperation law. Following the interrogation, Park said freedom of expression in the South is being curbed, according to the report.