The South Korean government said Tuesday that it will take stern measures against the group of North Korean defectors, known as the Fighters For Free North Korea, for attempting to send anti-Pyeongyang leaflets over the border, which the government says exacerbates tensions on the Korean Peninsula and threatens the safety of people living near the DMZ.
The group attempted to send leaflets from the border city of Paju late Monday night, but their balloon with the leaflets was found in Gangwon-do Province on Tuesday.
The group's representative, Park Sang-hak, said he had some members of the group send 5-hundred-thousand leaflets, 500 short books about South Korea, 2-thousand U.S. dollar bills, and 1-thousand memory cards all tied to hydrogen-filled balloons.
But this claim, the government says, has little credibility and none of the balloons would have reached the North anyway due to the wind.
Also, the police had confiscated the hydrogen gas the group needed to send up the balloons, so they would have only had enough for one of them.
And inside the one found in Gangwon-do, there were none of the books, dollar bills or memory cards Park claimed there were.
The police and the Unification Ministry say they will take all possible measures against the group for having spread false information about the number of leaflets sent and will closely monitor the group's office.
North Korea, meanwhile, has installed around 20 propaganda loudspeakers near the border since Sunday.
The loudspeakers had been removed from both South and North Korea in May 2018 following the Panmunjeom Declaration, under which both sides agreed to stop all kinds of hostile action, including these types of propaganda.
The North has not started broadcasting from the speakers yet, but the South Korean military believes it will start when the regime sends its anti-South Korea leaflets.
"If North Korea nullifies the effort and accomplishments the two Koreas have made for peace on the Korean peninsula, it will pay the price."
But as it is a sensitive matter, both the Unification and Defense Ministry are refraining from providing details on how they would respond to North Korea's hostile moves.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.