Inter-Korea relation: Police searched the property of ex-N.K. defector at the center of anti-Pyongyang leafleting

A probe team of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency dispatched officers to investigate the home and office in Seoul of Park Sang-Hak, who heads Fighters for a Free North Korea, an activist group that has been leading the campaign to drop anti-North Korean propaganda leaflets across the border.
June 27, 2020 | 10:48
pyongyang reinstalls propaganda loudspeakers along inter korean border Pyongyang reinstalls propaganda loudspeakers along inter-Korean border
north korea prepares anti south leaflets skorea urges for immediate halt North Korea prepares anti-South leaflets, S.Korea urges for "immediate halt"
south korea declares not to tolerate the norths any more South Korea declares not to tolerate the North's any more

Police searched the property of ex-N.K. defector at the center of anti-Pyongyang leafleting

The police ransacked the office of another group led by Mr. Park's brother as well as Mr. Park's car and phone to find evidence.

As reported by Yonhap, “The search is part of efforts to seize materials so that we can verify if Park's activities are in breach of the law," a police officer said.

Neglecting the government's warning against the cross-border leafleting campaign, Park sent some 500,000 leaflets carried by 20 large helium balloons over to the North on Monday night.

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Police move a box of materials during a search and seizure operation of the office of Park Sang-Hak who has been at the center of the anti-Pyongyang leafleting campaign, in Seoul on June 26, 2020. Photo: Yonhap

The investigation comes after Pyongyang accused Seoul of failing to stop the anti- N. Korea leaflet campaign. On 9 June, North Korea cut off all lines of communication with South Korea and blew up the liaison office. The propaganda- scattering campaign that involves criticizing and denouncing the North Korean political system and North Korea's ruling Kim family has recently been the main reason for the escalating tensions between North and South Korea, Yonhap added.

North Korea suspends planned military action against the South

North Korea suddenly announced on Wednesday that it was postponing its planned military action against the neighboring South — a war it had threatened would end in devastation for the US.

After weeks of rising tensions, the leader Kim Jong Un made an unexpected about-face during a video-conference meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Military Commission. A national security body that was overseen by the dictator “took stock of the prevailing situation and suspended the military action plans against the South”, according to The NY Posts.

No reasons provided for the halt of N. Korean’s military plan but many experts warned that it could be only a temporary move with the purpose that South Korea will make concessions in ongoing negotiations between two countries.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a meeting of the Seventh Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea, May 24, 2020, in North Korea Photo: KCNA

Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, also gave the warning “Now isn’t the time for anyone in Seoul or Washington to be self-congratulatory about deterring North Korea”.

“There may be only a pause in provocations or Pyongyang might temporarily de-escalate in search of external concessions. But North Korea will almost certainly continue to bolster its so-called ‘deterrent.’

President Moon Jae-in warned on June 25 that S. Korea would have tough responses if Pyongyang continues to threaten. "Our defense capabilities are strong enough to resist provocations from N. Korea”, Moon stressed.

Today, South Korea approved a plan to purchase more airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C) from overseas as part of efforts to beef up its aerial surveillance capabilities in the context of “the security threats from the neighboring country has increased”, Yonhap cited an official of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

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South Korean soldiers ride on a truck in Paju, South Korea, near the border with North Korea.AP/Ahn Young-Joon

The country will also launch the project next year to introduce more aircraft from overseas by 2027, rather than developing one at home, with a budget of 1.59 trillion won (US$1.32 billion).

The AEW&C aircraft equipped with advanced radar systems are designed to detect aircraft and other vehicles at long ranges and conduct command and control of the battlefield in an air engagement by directing strikes by fighter jets.

Besides, the committee also approved a project to secure advanced Baekdu reconnaissance aircraft with remote control and signaling system which is supposed to carry out missions to gather signal intelligence from North Korea, informed Yonhap.

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