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South Korean activist floats leaflets to North amid tensions

South Korean activist floats leaflets to North amid tensions

SEOUL: A South Korean group launched hundreds of thousands of leaflets by balloon across the border into North Korea overnight, an activist said on Tuesday, despite repeated warnings from the North that it will retaliate against such actions.

Activist Park Sang-hak said his organisation floated 20 huge balloons carrying 500,000 leaflets, 2,000 one-dollar bills and small books on North Korea from the border town of Paju on Monday night.

Park, a former North Korean who fled to South Korea, said in a statement that the leafleting is a "struggle for justice for the sake of liberation" of North Koreans.

The move is certain to intensify already high tensions between the Koreas. North Korea recently abruptly raised its rhetoric against South Korean civilian leafleting, destroying an empty, Seoul-built liaison office on its territory and pushing to resume its psychological warfare against the South.

Local officials in South Korea said they are looking into Park’s account and may ask police to investigate it as a potential safety threat to front-line residents. Seoul’s Unification Ministry, which handles relations with North Korea, issued a separate statement expressing deep regret over Parks attempt to send leaflets.

Calling North Korean leader Kim Jong Un an evil and his rule barbarism, Park said he will keep sending anti-Kim leaflets.

Though North Korean residents have become modern-day slaves with no basic rights, don't they have the right to know the truth? he said.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2020

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