Seoul in a Bind Over N.Korean Propaganda Flyers

  • By Jun Hyun-suk

    January 15, 2016 10:41

    A car is full of North Korean propaganda fliers that ripped a hole in the roof when they dropped out of the sky in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province on Thursday. /Newsis

    North Korea floated propaganda flyers to the Seoul metropolitan area for a third day running on Thursday, leaving the government here at a loss how to respond.

    The South Korean military has already printed up its own propaganda leaflets to be floated across the border in response but is so far holding off because that could violate the armistice agreement.

    The military here said the North floated balloons carrying leaflets from the northern side of the Imjin River on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, the same point where they had launched them the previous two days.

    They came down in bundles in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province. In one case, a bundle made a dent in the roof of a car.

    Tens of thousands of flyers had been retrieved in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province until Wednesday.

    "We can send balloons farther than the North and scatter leaflets at precise points where we want them," a military officer claimed. "Now it's up to the brass to give the go-ahead."

    Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said, "The armistice agreement guarantees the right to self-defense in proportion to an enemy attack. I don't think it'll matter."

    But the military is worried that the UN Command Military Armistice Commission could object.

    "The UNCMAC prohibits both Koreas from engaging in hostilities," the officer added. "If we disseminate leaflets in a military capacity, it's highly likely that the UNCMAC will oppose it because of possible cross-border tensions."

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