S. Korea, US activists launch balloons with anti-Pyongyang leaflets

AFP , Friday 29 Apr 2016

Korea balloons
Former North Korean defectors carry a banner showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un during a press conference before a launch of anti-North Korea balloons at Imjingak peace park in the border city of Paju on April 29, 2016 (Photo: AFP)

South Korean and US activists on Friday launched anti-Pyongyang leaflets over the border where tensions have been running high since the isolated state's last nuclear test in January.

Some 20 activists, including former defectors from North Korea, launched around 300,000 leaflets in packages tied to gas-filled balloons from a spot near the heavily-militarised frontier.

The regular leaflet exercises have long angered Pyongyang, which has threatened military retaliation against the activists.

In October 2014, North Korean guards attempted to shoot down some of the balloons, sparking a brief exchange of fire across the border.

One balloon launched on Friday carried a portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and a slogan calling for his overthrow.

"The people of North Korea need to know the enemy of the North Korean people is Kim Jong-Un," said Suzanne Scholte of the US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been running particularly high since the North's nuclear test, which was followed by a long-range rocket launch a month later.

There are growing concerns that the North may carry out a fifth nuclear test sometime over the next week, ahead of a rare ruling party congress that begins May 6.

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