North Korea vows response to South's 'psychological warfare'

World Monday 10/June/2024 15:27 PM
By: DW
North Korea vows response to South's 'psychological warfare'

Seoul: Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister warned the South created a "prelude to a very dangerous situation."

It comes as South Korea resumed loudspeaker broadcasts of anti-North Korean propaganda in border regions on Sunday in response to an ongoing campaign of sending trash balloons southwards.

North Korea then sent out another wave of 300 balloons filled with trash overnight.

More than 1,000 balloons carrying garbage bags containing waste paper, cigarette butts, and even excrement have landed in northern provinces of South Korea in recent weeks.

"I sternly warn Seoul to immediately cease its dangerous activities that would further provoke a crisis of confrontation," Kim said in a statement published by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency.

"If the ROK simultaneously carries out the leaflet scattering and loudspeaker broadcasting provocation over the border, it will undoubtedly witness the new counteraction of the DPRK," she added.

Psychological warfare continues
Lee Sung Joon, spokesperson of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Kim's comments represented a heightened verbal threat from North Korea.

"(We) don't think that they could provoke us that easily," Lee said during a briefing on Monday.

The tit-for-tat balloon blitz began in mid-May when activists in the South, including North Korean defectors, sent numerous messages containing anti-Kim propaganda and flash drives of K-pop music northwards.

Seoul's broadcasts include world news and information about democratic and capitalist society with a mix of popular K-pop music. The sound of the loudspeakers is believed to travel more than 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) into North Korea.

Tensions between the two nations have been on the rise following South Korea's presidential election in 2022, which ended with right-wing leader Yoon Suk Yeol taking office. Yoon is seen as pursuing a tougher line on North Korea compared to his predecessors.

In recent years, North Korea has ramped up weapons testing, including missile and satellite launches. Last week, Pyongyang fired a barrage of missiles into the sea simulating an attack on South Korea. Some experts have speculated North Korea would continue to escalate tensions until the US presidential election this November.