S. Korean police block pamphlet launch

Activists chanting slogans during an anti-North Korea rally near the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, on Tuesday.
Activists chanting slogans during an anti-North Korea rally near the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, on Tuesday.PHOTO: REUTERS

PAJU (South Korea) • South Korean police blocked activists from launching anti-North Korea leaflets, amid elevated military tensions on the divided peninsula.

Yesterday, about 100 police officers blocked vehicles carrying around 30 activists to border town Paju, from where they had planned to launch helium balloons carrying the leaflets into North Korea.

The pamphlets mocked the North's ruling Kim dynasty and condemned a landmine attack blamed on Pyongyang that maimed two members of a South Korean army border patrol earlier this month.

The mine blasts came as tensions were already heating up ahead of a South Korea-US wargame that simulates a North Korean invasion.

Despite the elevated tensions, the activists argued that their balloon launch should have been allowed. "North Korea deserves merciless punishment for planting the mines," Mr Choi Woo Won, a leading activist, said.

In October last year, North Korean border guards attempted to shoot down some balloons, triggering an exchange of machine-gun fire between the two sides.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2015, with the headline 'S. Korean police block pamphlet launch'. Print Edition | Subscribe