North Korean paper warns of 'lightning strike'     DATE: 2024-07-15 15:25:41

In this <strong></strong>June 30, 2019, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, center, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea. AP
In this June 30, 2019, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, center, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea. AP

North Korea kept up criticism of South Korea over anti-Pyongyang leaflets Tuesday, with its main newspaper casting Seoul's plan to crack down on such leafleting as a trick to escape the crisis and warning of a "lightning strike" against South Korean authorities.

The remarks came a day after President Moon Jae-in called on North Korea to leave the door open for inter-Korean dialogue, in a video message commemorating the first-ever summit between the leaders of the two Koreas.

Last Thursday, Cheong Wa Dae's national security office warned that the government would thoroughly crack down on the act of sending leaflets and related materials to the North and deal strictly with any violation in accordance with the law.

But on Tuesday, the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North's ruling party, dismissed Cheong Wa Dae's announcement, saying the strict measures the presidential office has come up with against the leaflet campaign is "merely a measure to escape from crisis."

"The world shall see how our people will give a lightning strike on South Korean authorities as punishment and exterminate these scums," said another report carried by the paper.

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The North's propaganda station Radio Pyongyang also slammed Seoul, saying that it has seen "the indecisiveness of South Korean authorities in the past two years who bluff as if they are going to achieve something big, when in reality they cannot march even a step forward."

Uriminzokkiri, one of the North's propaganda websites, also showed a comment that an unidentified writer posted on its website, saying that "the fact that Moon Jae-in kicked away the fortune of peace and prosperity shows that he is more idiotic than any other president before him."

Defector groups and other activists have occasionally sent a large number of leaflets via giant balloons sharply criticizing the communist regime and its leader. These were often flown with one-dollar bills, USB memory sticks and other items to get more North Koreans to pick up the leaflets.

The South Korean government has advised against sending such leaflets, citing concerns about the safety of residents in the regions where the leaflet-carrying balloons are launched because the North could take retaliatory military action on the areas.

Defector groups have ignored such appeals, citing their right to freedom of expression. (Yonhap)