March 01, 2011 10:20
The government has apparently told the military to keep quiet about psychological warfare operations against North Korea. A senior government official said Monday "no government would confirm or deny whether its military is engaged" in activities like sending leaflets and goods attached to helium balloons to the North. "But if the military is openly engaging in such activities, it would obviously need to be stopped."
But he added, "It's up to private human rights groups to decide whether to send propaganda leaflets to North Korea. The government shouldn't interfere with this unless there are special circumstances. We have no plans to block such activities."
Cheong Wa Dae apparently berated the military for informing some politicians of its psychological operations after Future Hope Alliance lawmaker Song Young-sun last week revealed government plan to send propaganda leaflets to the North based on a Defense Ministry report. "What military in the world openly reveals its psychological operations?" a senior official demanded. "We're investigating how this happened."
Presidential spokeswoman Kim Hee-jung told reporters, "We were unable to confirm whether the military is engaged in such propaganda operations. Issues related to military operations should be verified by the military." The comments do not mean that high-ranking officials in the presidential office wish to halt psychological warfare but are being interpreted as an order to keep quiet about it.
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