North Korean propaganda found at South's presidential complex

Gallery Pyongyang head Choi Sang Kyun with a North Korean propaganda poster. Leaflets praising Pyongyang were found at the South Korean Blue House. PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korean propaganda has been found at the South's presidential compound, officials said Monday (Oct 16), with the discovery of leaflets praising Pyongyang - which once sent commandos to attack the complex.

Authorities in the nuclear-armed North and activists in the South regularly use balloons to carry leaflets across the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that has divided the peninsula since the end of the Korean War.

Seoul is only 56.3km from the DMZ, within artillery range, and the leaflets are sometimes found lying on the ground in the capital - although not normally at the presidential Blue House.

"Great leader Kim Jong Un firmly declared to tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire," one of the leaflets read, according to the Yonhap news agency - a reference to Kim's declaration last month regarding US President Donald Trump amid high tensions over Pyongyang's weapons ambitions.

Another pitied Seoul for relying on the US for its defence and claimed Washington was afraid of Pyongyang, Yonhap said.

"Occasionally, the propaganda leaflets are flown this way by the wind and it's not clear if there is anything particular about this one," a presidential spokesman told AFP.

"The leaflets have been gathered by the security team and submitted to the investigative agency." North Korean elements penetrated close to the Blue House in 1968, when a 31-strong commando unit infiltrated Seoul in a failed attempt to assassinate then-leader Park Chung-Hee.

Bullet holes from a gunbattle are still visible in a tree on a hillside above the complex.

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