Pyongyang threatens to break military pact with South amid leaflet drops

Seoul, June 4 (efe-epa).- Pyongyang threatened Thursday to break the agreement to alleviate military tension signed with Seoul in 2018 if activists in the South do not stop sending anti-regime leaflets over the border in balloons.

Kim Yo-jong, first vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea and sister of leader Kim Jong-un, blamed “defectors from the north” and said that Seoul will “pay a dear price if they let this situation go on,” in a statement released by the state news agency KCNA.

“Human scum little short of wild animals who betrayed their own homeland are engrossed in such unbecoming acts to imitate men. They are sure to be called mongrel dogs as they bark in where they should not. Now that the mongrel dogs are doing others harm, it is time to bring their owners to account,” Kim said.

She added that if Seoul does not take action, President Moon Jae-in’s government “had better get themselves ready for possibility of the complete withdrawal of the already desolate Kaesong Industrial Park following the stop to tour of Mt. Kumgang, or shutdown of the north-south joint liaison office whose existence only adds to trouble, or the scrapping of the north-south agreement in military field which is hardly of any value.”

Kim said that the agreement, signed during the summit that Kim Jong-un and Moon held in Pyongyang in September 2018, aims to end hostilities around the border, and therefore the sending of the pamphlets by balloon run counter to it.

“If such an act of evil intention committed before our eyes is left to take its own course under the pretext of ‘freedom of individuals’ and ‘freedom of expression,’ the south Korean authorities must face the worst phase shortly,” she said.

Hours after the KCNA statement was released, the South Korean Unification Ministry urged activists to stop sending the balloons with leaflets over the border, citing the risk to the safety of South Koreans residing in the area.

The North Korean army has sometimes fired shots at balloons sent by activists opposed to the regime.

The law on freedom of expression in South Korea prevents prohibiting the release of balloons with anti-Korean propaganda.

Pyongyang’s harsh statement comes at a time when inter-Korean relations remain frozen.

North Korea has decided to cool the relationship with the South, a United States ally, due to the lack of agreement during the failed summit on denuclearization of Hanoi in February 2019, in which Washington rejected the offer of North Korean disarmament, considering it not enough. EFE-EPA


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