North Korea threatens to attack South Korea over dropping of leaflets

 Some activists and exiles in South Korea insist on using giant balloons to drop the leaflets.

 

North Korea issued its most strident warning on Friday when it threatened to open fire on South Korean territory if anti-Pyongyang leaflets were sent over from South Korean territory.

It said that if leaflets were dropped on Monday a “merciless military strike by the Western Front will be put into practice without warning,’’ according to state news agency KCNA.

The communist North said it would target a tourist area in the border city of Paju, a few miles from the demilitarised zone that separates the two countries, if the launch went ahead.

A coalition of non-government groups said it would go ahead with plans to drop anti-North Korea leaflets on Monday as part of their campaign against Pyongyang.

The leader of a coalition of groups comprising North Korean exiles and human rights activists said they intend to go ahead with the plan to send giant balloons containing 200,000 leaflets criticising North Korea’s government to the country.

“We had similar threats last year and they did not stop us before and this is not going to stop us this time,’’ said Pak Sang-hak, a North Korean exile, who defected to the South 12 years ago.

Pak and his colleagues plan to put 1,000 dollars note in the leaflets inside plastic bags. They say the U.S. dollars are prized

by the impoverished people in North Korea.

North Korea shelled a South Korean island almost two years ago, causing civilian deaths. In 2010, the North was widely blamed for sinking a South Korean navy ship, although it denied responsibility.

KCNA frequently carries anti-South Korean rhetoric, although a specific threat to an exact area has been rare in recent months.

“The KPA (Korean People’s Army) never makes any empty talk,” KCNA quoted military commanders as saying.

Reuters/NAN

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