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N. Korea urges Seoul to block leaflet spread

North Korea on Saturday reiterated its call for Seoul to stop a planned cross-border launch of propaganda leaflets by South Korean activists, citing a possible breakdown in inter-Korean ties.

The Rodong Sinmun, the North's main newspaper, said the scattering of leaflets that deride the communist regime's system will lead to "very severe" consequences.

Pyongyang said the practice is tantamount to war, adding that Seoul's authorization of the move will worsen inter-Korean ties to an irrecoverable state.

The remarks are the latest in North Korea's efforts to block the sending of propaganda leaflets into its territory, many of which denounce and deride the communist nation's leader Kim Jong-un and his wife.

A group of conservative activists are scheduled to send balloons carrying some 40,000-50,000 leaflets from Imjingak, a park near the inter-Korean border, at around 1 p.m. on Saturday

Residents in the border town of Paju have condemned the move as life-threatening and vowed to stop the planned launch.

Earlier this month, North Korea opened fire on balloons carrying leaflets that were launched by the same group. To residents' horror, some of the machine gun rounds landed in South Korean territory.

The state police agency said it will stop activists from sending the leaflets to North Korea only if the group becomes physically violent with their opponents.

Seoul's unification minister, Ryoo Kihl-jae, has also made it clear that the government will not interfere in the civilian-led campaign itself. (Yonhap)

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