International

N. Korea warns South of retaliation over leaflets sent by defectors

Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.

Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.   | Photo Credit: Jorge Silva

‘People have been sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda’

The sister of North Korea’s leader has warned of retaliatory measures against South Korea that could involve the military, in the latest escalation of tensions over defectors from the North who have been sending back propaganda and food.

Kim Yo-jong, who serves unofficially as one of Kim Jong-un’s top aides, issued the warning in a statement carried by state news agency KCNA on Saturday. “By exercising my power authorised by the Supreme Leader, our Party and the state, I gave an instruction to the ... department in charge of the affairs with (the) enemy to decisively carry out the next action,” Ms. Kim said. Her statement, which did not say what the next action could be, came days after South Korea took legal action against defectors who have been sending material such as rice and anti-North leaflets.

North Korea said it has been angered by the defectors and in the past week severed inter-Korean hotlines and threatened to close a liaison office between the two governments.

As part of the effort to improve ties with the North, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s administration has sought to discourage the leaflet and rice campaigns, and defectors have complained of pressure to avoid criticism of North Korea.

Also read: South Korea urges North to uphold deals amid rising animosities

On Sunday, South Korea’s National Security Council meeting was held with security and diplomatic chiefs in attendance, “to examine the current situation of the (Korean) peninsula,” the presidential Blue House said, without elaborating.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry and Defence Ministry each released statements asking the North to honour inter-Korean agreements reached in the past.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 7:32:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/n-korea-warns-south-of-retaliation-over-leaflets-sent-by-defectors/article31828477.ece

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