N.Korean Propaganda Fax Aims at Sowing Dissent in South

      December 22, 2010 13:08

      North Korea has faxed propaganda material to a large number of South Korean organizations and businesses, shifting the blame for its artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island to the South Korean and U.S. governments in an attempt to foster conflict between conservatives and progressives here.

      In the wake of its Nov. 23 artillery attack on the border island of Yeonpyeong, Pyongyang dispatched the propaganda fax from China to some 80 South Korean religious and social organizations and businesses, according to a Unification Ministry official. But only 15 of them, including nine companies with plants in North Korea, reported the fax to the ministry, it added.

      "The Yeonpyeong Island shelling took place because the South Korean warmongers shelled our territorial waters," the fax claims. In fact, the South Korean military was only conducting a routine drill in its waters that it has carried out for 37 years.

      The fax repeats a claim that the South Korean government used the island's residents as "human shields." The South "attempted to avert our retaliatory strikes by mixing military facilities with residential villages and by drawing civilians into the military base and holding them hostage," it claims.

      But it is the North that fired dozens of 122-mm multiple launch rockets on Yeonpyeong Island villages. The fax appeals to nationalist sentiment by saying, "As brothers of the same blood, we must put our strength together and march forward to crush the anti-reunification forces."

      Urging the implementation of the June 15, 2000 and Oct. 4, 2007 summit declarations, the fax threatens, "If a war breaks out, the South Korean people will suffer the most."

      North Korea mounted a similar propaganda after torpedoing the Navy corvette Cheonan and prior to and following the local and by-elections as well. Pyongyang dispatched some 40 faxes denying the findings of an international investigation of the Cheonan sinking and some 70 calling for a defeat of the government and the ruling party in the June 2 elections.

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