North Korea renewed its threat Friday to attack South Korea over anti-Pyongyang leaflets being sent into the country, a sign of lingering tension after the sinking of a South Korean warship.
Civilian activists regularly use balloons to launch leaflets condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong Il across the heavily fortified border, a tactic Pyongyang views as part of official South Korean psychological campaigns aimed at toppling its regime.
The North warned during military talks with South Korea last month that it might fire artillery at sites the activists use to launch the balloons.
South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said earlier this month that the military would immediately resume full-scale propaganda activities against North Korea in the event of any new provocations by Pyongyang, but has so far limited that to radio broadcasts.
The broadcasts resumed after the sinking of a South Korean warship in March that killed 46 sailors. A multinational investigation led by Seoul concluded that a North Korean torpedo sank the warship, though Pyongyang has denied involvement.
On Friday, the North's military denounced the South Korean defense minister's comments as a declaration of a war against North Korea, the North's official Korean Central News Agency reported.
"If the South side does not halt ... broadcasting and the scattering of anti-(North Korean) leaflets, it will never be able to escape the KPA's physical strikes at the broadcasting means and leaflet-scattering centers," the North's military said, referring to its official name, the Korean People's Army.
The North sent the protest message to military officials in South Korea, KCNA said. North Korea's military said its response would depend on how South Korea reacts. Continued...