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Local residents prevent leaflet launch to North Korea

October 25, 2014, 15:07 UTC+3 PYONGYANG
Some 40 people, including North Korean defectors, planned to once again send balloons carrying up to 50,000 leaflets from Imijngak, a park at the border town of Paju, Gyeonggi Province
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© TASS/EPA/KIM CHUL-SOO

PYONGYANG, October 25. /TASS/. Local residents in South Korea’s Paju prevented on Saturday attempts by conservative activists to send balloons with propaganda leaflets towards North Korea, the South Korean Yonhap news agency reports.

Some 40 people, including North Korean defectors, planned to once again send balloons carrying up to 50,000 leaflets from Imijngak, a park at the border town of Paju, Gyeonggi Province, it said. However, around 200 Paju residents and liberal activists blocked the entrance to the park with tractors and other agricultural hardware to foil the plan. No physical clash was reported, Yonhap writes.

Opponents condemn the action as they fear for the lives of local residents after in early October, North Korean border guards tried to shoot down the leaflet-carrying balloons, opening machine-gun fire towards South Korea.

Business people, whose companies are operating in the Kaesong joint industrial park situated nearby, also oppose such launches. Pyongyang has stepped up calls for Seoul to stop the launches, threatening with major consequences and equating this action with ‘a declaration of war’.

South Korea’s state police agency said it could not stop activists from sending leaflets to North Korea unless the group became physically violent with their opponents, Yonhap reports.

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