We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
The leaflets which are usually attached to hot air balloons or floated in bottles criticise North Korean leader Kim Jong-un over human rights abuses and his nuclear ambitions. But the leaflets have escalated tensions between the two nations after the North called the South an “enemy” and vowed to cut off all inter-Korean communication lines in anger.
It has since not answered routine daily phone calls from the South via liaison and military hotlines.
South Korea, which is trying to improve ties with the North, accused the two groups known as Kuensaem Education Centre and Fighters for a Free North Korea of violating the Inter-Korean Exchange and Co-operation Act by sending the leaflets and aid such as rice and medicine.
The South Korea’s Unification Ministry said it had asked Seoul police to investigate the groups.
South Korea’s National Security Council also said earlier today that the government will begin strictly controlling activities which includes the leafleting and sending goods to North Korea to prevent what it called “incidental military conflicts”.
South Korean President Moon Jae-In, a former human rights lawyer lauded the South Korean democracy activists earlier this week.
But his office expressed “strong regret” over the leaflet launches, adding the government would mount a “thorough crackdown” against them.
Spokesman Kim You-geun, a national security official at the Blue House said the campaigns are illegal and do not help the “efforts to achieve peace and prosperity of the Korean peninsula.”
US Human Rights Watch have also condemned the ministry’s decision, accusing Seoul of “kow-towing” to Pyongyang’s threats.
They added it was “shameful how President Moon and his government are totally unwilling to stand up for the rights of North Koreans.”
Sokeel Park, from Liberty in North Korea, which supports defectors added that engagement with North Korea “can be worthwhile”.
But she stressed that “ditching democratic values” to comply with harsh threats from Pyongyang sets a “terrible precedent”.
North Korean state media have carried reports and statements from senior officials expressing outrage over the defectors, denouncing them as “mongrel dogs” and “human scum little short of wild animals”.
North Korea orders Trump to ‘keep mouth shut’ – Kim Jong-un warning [REVEAL]
Kim Jong-Un’s sister astonishes experts with ‘human scum’ statement [REVEAL]
North Korea: Horror warning over figure’s growing influence exposed [REVEAL]
Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, said South Korea’s recent actions against the North was “a challenge and a declaration of war against us.”
In an editorial, the paper said: “On the surface they have the nerve to act as if something wrong has happened, but on the inside, they have not abandoned their ugly intentions to destroy our country.
“Regardless of how it plays out afterwards, our people have an iron will to rightfully take revenge on South Korean authorities even if inter-Korean relations end up in total bankruptcy.”
But defector Park Jung-oh, leader of activist group Kuensaem who sent the leaflets said they were still planning to send hundreds of bottles stuffed with rice, medicine and medical face masks to North Korea by throwing them into the sea near the border next week.
Meanwhile, Fighters for a Free North Korea, run by Park’s brother Park Sang-hak, has also said it plans to send more leaflets into North Korea by balloon over the heavily fortified border.
Source: Read Full Article