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North Korea plans to float 12m propaganda leaflets into rival South

Tensions have been high since an inter-Korean liaison was destroyed last week.

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North Koreans prepare anti-South Korea propaganda leaflets (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP/PA)

North Koreans prepare anti-South Korea propaganda leaflets (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP/PA)

North Koreans prepare anti-South Korea propaganda leaflets (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP/PA)

Officials in South Korea have urged North Korean counterparts to abandon a plan to float 12 million leaflets in what would be the largest such psychological campaign against its rival.

Animosities on the Korean Peninsula rose sharply last week after North Korea destroyed an inter-Korean liaison office on its territory in anger over South Korean civilian leafleting against it.

North Korea said it will fly propaganda leaflets and take other steps to nullify 2018 deals to ease tensions at the border.

Yoh Sangkey, a spokesman at Seoul’s Unification Ministry, told reporters North Korea must suspend its plan to send anti-Seoul leaflets that “are not helpful to South-North (Korea) relations at all”.

Our plan of distributing the leaflets against the enemy is an eruption of the unquenchable anger of all the people and the whole societyKorean Central News Agency

Earlier on Monday, North Korea said it had manufactured 12 million propaganda leaflets to be floated toward South Korea aboard 3,000 balloons and other unspecified delivery equipment.

“Our plan of distributing the leaflets against the enemy is an eruption of the unquenchable anger of all the people and the whole society,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said. “The time for retaliatory punishment is drawing near.”

Some observers say ongoing weather conditions are not favourable for North Korea to fly propaganda balloons to South Korea so that it may use drones to launch them.

They say this could trigger clashes between the countries because South Korea must respond to incoming drones to its territory.

South Korean defence minister Jeong Kyeong-doo told lawmakers that how his military responds to potential North Korean leafleting depends on what delivery equipment would be used.

A South Korean activist recently said he would also drop about a million leaflets over the border around Thursday, the 70th anniversary of the start of the 1950-53 Korean War.

South Korean officials have said they will ban civilian activists from launching balloons toward North Korea.

PA