N Korea urges S Korea to curb leaflet campaign

N Korea urges S Korea to curb leaflet campaign

North Korea called on South Korea Wednesday to put a brake on the spread of anti-Pyongyang leaflets by activists here if it genuinely wants a resumption of dialogue.

The call came two days after a North Korean defectors' group flew balloons with leaflets criticising and ridiculing the communist regime toward the North from a border area.

The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) claimed in a commentary that South Korea is out of step with the North's "goodwill and generosity" for improved bilateral ties by winking at the leaflet campaign.

"Such a reckless act was done at a time when all Koreans in the North and the South and abroad were eagerly hoping to see mended North-South relations," said the KCNA.

"It is a blatant challenge to the DPRK's sincere stand and appeal for improved North-South relations and national reunification and a last-ditch effort to obstruct the improvement of north-south relations and spoil an atmosphere of dialogue."

DPRK is the acronym for the country's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

It was referring to Kim's speech aired on Jan. 1, in which he emphasised the need to improve inter-Korean relations this year, which marks the 70th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japan's 35-year colonial rule.

He said Pyongyang is willing to engage in various types of dialogue with Seoul even at the highest level.

It was the first time that he openly spoke about the possibility of inter-Korean summit talks, although he attached routine preconditions to the olive branch such as a halt to annual joint defence exercises between South Korea and the United States.

The conservative Park Geun-hye administration of the South maintains that the military drills are a necessary defensive measure and that there are no legal grounds to forcibly stop the leaflet campaign because of freedom of speech.

The KCNA pressed the Park government to clarify its stance on relations between the rival Koreas.

It also took a swipe at the Barack Obama administration for its additional sanctions on Pyongyang, saying it dampened the mood of dialogue created by leader Kim Jong-un.

The US even sponsored the leaflet scattering by the "human scum," and the South's government took its side, the KCNA said.

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