This photo, provided by local publisher Minjok Sarangbang, shows "With the Century," the eight-volume memoirs of North Korea's national founder Kim Il-sung. (Minjok Sarangbang)
A North Korean propaganda outlet on Monday criticized South Korea over a controversy surrounding the recently published memoirs of the North's national founder, saying that some "impure" forces are trying to hamper their sales in a "wicked way."
A local publishing company recently began selling the eight-volume memoirs of Kim Il-sung, entitled "With the Century," here for the first time since the books were published by the North Korean regime in the early 1990s.
The publication, however, prompted the government to look into how the memoirs hit bookshelves without its approval. Some major bookstore chains have also ceased selling the memoirs of the late grandfather of the North's current leader Kim Jong-un amid the brewing controversy.
"The legal community and conservative media have been showing hysterical craze by making a fuss and saying that (the publication of the books) represents a violation of the 'National Security Act' or 'materials beneficial to the enemy,'" Uriminzokkiri, a North Korean propaganda website, said.
"The South Korean authorities are also crafting a dirty scheme to conduct an investigation into the publisher and block the publication and distribution of the books," the website added. "It is dumbfounded to see such impure forces' reckless act to make a fuss as if a huge disaster happened and try to block their publication and distribution in a wicked way."
Any attempt to bring in materials written in North Korea to South Korea must first win state approval since the two Koreas remain technically at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
In the 1990s, a South Korean publisher tried in vain to sell the books here and came under investigation for allegedly violating the National Security Act. (Yonhap)