By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) – In a tit-for-tat move, North Korea on Monday said it is ready to publish and release propaganda leaflets and balloons to “teach enemy a lesson”, referring to South Korea.
In a statement by state-run Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), the impoverished country’s “publishing and printing institutions” in capital Pyongyang have “turned out 12 million leaflets of all kinds reflective of the wrath and hatred of the people from all walks of life”.
The reaction by Pyongyang comes after North Korea blamed South Korea for allowing the spread of anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border over several weeks.
The situation turned grave when the North Korean army attacked and demolished the inter-Korean office last week in anger over South Korean civilian leafleting against it, snapping all standing communication between the two countries.
Pyongyang said: “The time for retaliatory punishment is drawing near.”
“As of June 22, various equipment and means of distributing leaflets, including over 3,000 balloons of various types capable of scattering leaflets deep inside South Korea, have been prepared,” the KCNA report said.
Seoul said it is ready to respond to North's moves.
"We are closely monitoring moves by the North Korean military regarding the leafleting round-the-clock. In preparations for diverse possibilities, we maintain a firm readiness posture," said Col. Kim Jun-rak, spokesperson of the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), daily Korea Herald reported.
The KCNA report said: “Our plan of distributing the leaflets against the enemy is an eruption of the unquenchable anger of all the people and the whole society… South Korea has to face the music.”
It added when South Korea “experiences how painful and how irritating it is to dispose of leaflets and waste, it will shake off its bad habit”.
"If North Korea uses drones, for example, in violation of the inter-Korean military agreement, we will be forced to take a corresponding military action," the Herald report said quoting an anonymous official of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The two countries under the 2018 Comprehensive Military Agreement set up the no-fly zone along the inter-Korean border.