S.Korea police, residents block leaflet launch into North

N. Korea bashes South for breaking promise by releasing leaflets

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Published : 2014-03-29 11:25
Updated : 2014-03-29 11:25

North Korea continued its criticism of South Korea on Saturday for allegedly sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets into its territory, while remaining mum on Seoul's proposals for expanded inter-Korean cooperation.

An unidentified spokesman for the North's delegation to the inter-Korean high-level contact issued a statement that accused the South Korean government of disseminating leaflets critical of its regime, according to the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Earlier this week, the reclusive nation threatened "merciless blows" against the South for its military's anti-North campaign using leaflets, which Seoul dismissed immediately.

Although activists here released leaflets from border towns with the North earlier this week, the Seoul government has not floated them since 2004 due to the inter-Korean agreement of halting propaganda warfare along their heavily fortified border,

according to defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok.

"The ceaseless leaflet scattering operation in south Korea is an open breach of the valuable agreement reached between the north and the south, and the most serious act of treachery that can never be pardoned," the North's spokesman said.

The two rivals held an unusual high-level contact last month, the first in seven years, and agreed to improve relations by stopping slander against one another.

Calling the inter-Korean agreement "a smokescreen to cover up the leaflet scattering operation," the communist country claimed the campaign with leaflets constitutes "declaring a war" against it which will lead to the demolition of South Korea "to ashes," according to the KCNA.

The spokesman mentioned South Korean President Park Geun-hye by name several times in the statement to lay criticism and warned that the North is "closely watching the moves of the South Korean authorities." The unruly nation, however, has not responded to a package of proposals President Park set forth in Germany the previous day.

In her speech in Dresden, Park called for bolstering exchanges with the North to lay the groundwork for national reunification by pushing for such projects as setting up an inter-Korean cooperation office and building infrastructure jointly in the impoverished nation.

For years, North Korean defectors in the South and conservative activists have flown anti-Pyongyang leaflets from near the border to help encourage North Koreans to eventually rise up against the Pyongyang regime.

The North has bristled at any outside criticism of its leader and has made several military threats against the South over the leaflets in recent years. The North has also repeatedly pressed South Korea to stop its activists from sending the leaflets.

South Korea has said there are no legal grounds to prevent activists from floating the leaflets, citing freedom of expression.

(Yonhap)

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