Pyongyang has stepped up efforts to ensure a smooth third-generation transition of power to Kim Jong-un, the heir-apparent and youngest son of deceased North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The late leader took over the country from his father and national founder Kim Il-sung in 1994 upon his father's death.
Some 50 members of an emergency committee comprising 37 of the country's human rights groups for North Korean defectors launched 10 balloons carrying millions of anti-North Korean leaflets from Imjingak pavilion just south of the inter-Korean border.
In the leaflets, they criticized the hereditary secession of power in the communist country, while detailing moves toward democratic governance across the Arab world.
"We will not sit idle while witnessing North Koreans suffer from oppression and hunger under autocratic leadership," said Park Sang-hak, an official with the committee, which formed in response to Kim's death.
"We call on the South Korean government as well as the international community to support 2,300 North Koreans who struggle to walk out of the yoke of slavery by the Kim dynasty and to regain their freedom and human rights," he added.
The defectors also expressed their opposition to any statements of condolence by South Koreans over the death of Kim Jong-il.
Seoul decided earlier in the day to allow civilians or private organizations to send messages of condolence on Kim's death, a day after the government itself expressed its consolation for the North Korean people.