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Seoul plans response to 1 million North Korea propaganda leaflets

The leaflets, more than a million in total, have been landing near South Korean homes since Jan. 12.

By Elizabeth Shim
Seoul plans response to 1 million North Korea propaganda leaflets
A North Korean soldier stands watch on the North Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone seen from Panmunjom, South Korea. North Korea has become more vocal about ethnic unity in the wake of its fourth nuclear test. File Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy | License Photo

SEOUL, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- South Korea's military is considering responses to the North as Pyongyang continues to send millions of anti-Seoul propaganda leaflets.

Seoul Defense Ministry deputy spokesman Na Seung-yong said Thursday North Korea's leaflet launches have been "ongoing," South Korean outlet News 1 reported.

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The leaflets, more than a million in total, have been landing near South Korean homes since Jan. 12.

Na also told press a previously reported chemical, biological and radiological exercise did not occur inside the Korean militarized zone, but instead inside a U.S. command post.

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U.S. and South Korean forces on the peninsula are on highest alert since Pyongyang announced its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6.

But the test, which North Korea has defended as a "self-defense measure," has not stopped Pyongyang from making contact with South Korean civic organizations – while bypassing inter-Korea government channels.

North Korea expressed its displeasure toward the government in Seoul on Thursday, likening South Korea's two-track approach to the North to "a slap in the face while insisting on good relations."

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Seoul has called for stronger sanctions against North Korea, while also calling for a momentary freeze on civic exchange.

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The move has not deterred North Korea from faxing a council of 59 South Korean NGOs on Jan. 10, and expressing an interest in continuing social and cultural exchanges. The Unification Ministry, however, has asked private organizations to refrain from making contact.

North Korea has become more vocal about ethnic unity and on Thursday the country aired footage of a Pyongyang Foreign Ministry spokesman who condemned Japan for its "comfort women" policy – the sexual enslavement of Korean and other women during World War II, Newsis reported.

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North Korea said the deed was a "crime against humanity," while commemorating the death of Korea's last emperor, King Kojong, who passed away on Jan. 21, 1919.

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