N.Korea preparing to send 12 mn leaflets to Seoul

North Korea is preparing to send around 12 million propaganda leaflets to South Korea via some 3,000 balloons, state media reported on Monday, saying, “The time for retaliatory punishment” was fast approaching.

The North has threatened to send propaganda leaflets into Seoul in retaliation against South Korea’s failure to stop North Korean defectors and other activists from sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets into the communist state despite their 2018 summit agreement banning such activity, reports Yonhap News Agency.

“Publishing and printing institutions at all levels in the capital city have turned out 12 million leaflets of all kinds reflective of the wrath and hatred of the people from all walks of life,” Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a report.

“Various equipment and means of distributing leaflets, including over 3,000 balloons of various types capable of scattering leaflets deep inside South Korea, have been prepared,” it added.

“The time for retaliatory punishment is drawing near.”

It did not however mention when the leaflets will be dispatched.

On Saturday, South Korea’s Unification Ministry voiced regret over North Korea’s plan to send leaflets and demand Pyongyang withdraw it immediately, calling it a violation of the inter-Korean summit agreement, Yonhap News Agency reported.

North Korea’s United Front Department handling inter-Korean affairs dismissed the call and said that it has no intention to cancel or adjust the leaflet-sending plan, calling the summit agreement a “dead document”.

Dispatching propaganda leaflets into the South is one of the retaliatory measures the North has vowed to take in response to anti-Pyongyang leaflets that defectors in the South send via large balloons into the North.

The North has bristled at South Korea failing to stop defector groups and other activists from sending propaganda leaflets criticizing its leaders.

Last week, it even blew up a joint liaison office in its border town of Kaesong that was opened as a result of a 2018 summit between their leaders.