N. Korea drops 1 million propaganda leaflets in S. Korea

By Ann Marie Awad   |   Jan. 18, 2016 at 6:04 PM
| License Photo

SEOUL, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- North Korea has been dropping propaganda leaflets into South Korea by balloon near-daily as tensions escalate between the two countries.

Pyongyang began dropping leaflets as early as Jan. 13, Yonhap News Agency reported. The helium balloons that carry them have timers that cause them to explode, scattering the leaflets. Seoul's defense ministry told SkyNews the leaflets have reached as far as the capitol.

The leaflets criticize South Korean President Park Geun-hye for a campaign of loudspeaker broadcasts directed into North Korea. The broadcasts consist of anti-North Korean messages read by an announcer, but also pop music and news. The latter gives North Korea's residents -- who are largely cut off from the rest of the world -- a glimpse of life outside the impoverished nation.

Officials say the irregularly scheduled broadcasts reach 6 miles into the North during the day, and 15 miles at night. The North has also started to fight back with border broadcasts of its own, according to Voice of America.

South Korea promised to stop using such broadcasts in August after the two countries agreed to diffuse tensions. However, they resumed recently after the North claimed to test a hydrogen bomb on Jan. 6.

North Korea has threatened to go to war over the broadcasts.

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