N.Korea Threatens Retaliation Over Propaganda Leaflets

      September 17, 2014 09:44

      An activist group floats propaganda leaflets to North Korea near Paju in Gyeonggi Province on Sept. 8. /AP-Newsis

      North Korea on Monday warned it could retaliate if South Korean activists continue to float propaganda leaflets across the border.

      The warning came in a fax from the National Defense Commission to Cheong Wa Dae, saying a halt to the floating of propaganda leaflets is a precondition to resuming cross-border talks.

      Last Saturday, a spokesman for the North Korean delegation to high-level inter-Korean talks also threatened in a statement that the North would retaliate.

      The North "can accept the proposal for talks only after these problems are solved," the statement added.

      The same day, the North Korean chairman of a committee managing the Kaesong Industrial Complex sent a fax to South Korea saying, "Only when South Korea stops sending leaflets into the North will the talks to discuss issues involving overland passage, communication, and customs clearance procedures resume."

      The North is apparently concerned because the volume of leaflets floated by defectors' groups has massively increased in recent days.

      One activist group sent more than 10 million propaganda leaflets in August alone, more than double the number in previous years. Another group sent hundreds of thousands of leaflets across the border on Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving on Sept. 8.

      They are taking advantage of autumn winds that blow in a northerly direction while many North Koreans are working in the harvest fields.

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