World Bulletin/News Desk
Civil activists sent more than a million leaflets denouncing Pyongyang’s leadership by air balloons from South Korea early Friday morning, according to local news agency Yonhap – despite stern warnings by the North.
Last weekend the protesters, including North Korean refugees, had been physically blocked by opposition groups within the South – who were concerned about provoking Pyongyang, as well as disrupting the lives of residents based close to the heavily-guarded inter-Korean border.
This time the activists launched more than 30 balloons from around midnight to 2.30 local time (19.30 Turkish time) from Pocheon in northwestern Gyeonggi Province.
On the same day, an interview with the anti-Pyongyang group’s leader was released by the Korea Joongang Daily newspaper in South Korea – in which Park Sang-hak offered to stop his leaflet campaign “if the Kim Jong-un regime apologizes.”
Park wants the North to take responsibility for the sinking of the South’s Cheonan warship in 2010, as well as saying sorry for the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island that same year and the shooting of a South Korean visitor at a joint tourist resort in 2008.
But he also warned Seoul not to succumb to North Korea’s “trap” of blaming his leaflets for its rejection of high-level inter-Korean talks this week, suggesting more demands would follow.
The North has consistently condemned the launch of leaflets from South Korea as an act of war, and shot down one balloon earlier this month.
Seoul maintains that it has no legal right to stop Park, who has been conducting the leaflet launches since 2004.
The Koreas technically remain at war after an armistice, rather than a peace treaty, brought the 1950-53 Korean War to a close.
Last Mod: 31 Ekim 2014, 11:19