South Korean govt denounces activists sending propaganda to the North

Seoul, Jun 11 (efe-epa).- The South Korean Unification Ministry said Thursday that it has denounced two groups of activists who usually send balloons to North Korea with propaganda against the Kim Jong-un regime, an action that has angered Pyongyang.

The action comes days after North Korea strongly denounced a shipment of balloons made on May 31 and later announced that, due to these actions, it cuts off telephone communications with the South, which it has said will return to treat as an enemy.

A Ministry spokeswoman confirmed to EFE that the complaint was filed with the Seoul Metropolitan Police on Thursday against the groups Fighters for a Free North Korea and Keunsaem for the sending of leaflets with hot air balloons and also plastic bottles filled with rice.

The latter are usually placed in the estuary of the Imjigak River, which divides the two countries, in the hope that they will float to the other shore.

The arguments that the Government gives for the complaint is that these activities constitute a violation of the law of inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation, which prohibits the shipment of any good to the North without permission from the southern Administration, and also of the water law.

Many of the members of these two groups are North Korean defectors who, after arriving in the South, have decided to denounce the human rights violations carried out by the Pyongyang regime.

The decision promises to unleash criticism from human rights organizations.

The government, which has also withdrawn business licenses from both organizations, had already warned years ago that it could act against them legally, considering that their actions endanger the lives of South Korean citizens at the border (the North Korean army has responded with shots to send hot air balloons).

After a 2018 marked by rapprochement, North Korea has decided to openly cool its relationship with the South, an ally of the United States, after the failure of the summit on denuclearization in Hanoi in February 2019, in which Washington rejected the North Korean disarmament offer as it is scarce. EFE-EPA


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