Seoul, June 21 (IANS) North Korea said on Sunday that it had no intention to cancel its plan to send anti-Seoul leaflets across the border, calling an inter-Korean agreement that bans such activity “a dead document”.
On Saturday, the North’s state media said Pyongyang was printing anti-Seoul propaganda materials in large numbers and preparing to send them across the border, reports Yonhap News Agency.
South Korea’s unification ministry expressed regret and urged Pyongyang to withdraw the plan immediately, calling it a violation of an inter-Korean summit agreement.
“We, clearly aware that leaflet scattering is the violation of the North-South agreement, do not have any intent to reconsider or change our plan at a time when the North-South relations have already been broken down,” a spokesman for the North’s United Front Department (UFD) said in a statement carried by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
“The South Korean authorities must no longer talk about the agreement that has been already reduced to a dead document,” the spokesperson added.
Sending 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.
North Korea has called South Korea an “enemy” and vowed to cut off all cross-border communication lines in anger over the leaflet issue.
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, reports the Yonhap News Agency.
The South Korean government has sought to legislate a ban against the leaflets and filed a criminal complaint against two defector groups engaging in such activity.
The North, however, criticized Seoul for moving too late and coming up with “little more advanced excuses”.