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(LEAD) N. Korea threatens to punish defectors who slander leader, regime
SEOUL, June 19 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's security agency on Wednesday threatened to punish defectors for slander after a defector-run news site claimed the North has been spreading Nazi ideology to its people.

   In a special statement, the Ministry of the People's Security warned it will take "substantial measures to physically remove" those committing treasonous acts at the instigation of the South Korea and the United States.

   The threat carried by the Korean Central News Agency monitored in Seoul said that South Korea's Park Geun-hye administration is openly supporting organizations made up of defectors who attack the North.

   The ministry cited an article published by New Focus, an Internet-based news source in Seoul that is published by defectors, which claimed Kim Jong-un presented senior ruling Workers' Party of Korea officials with copies of Adolf Hitler's autobiography "Mein Kampf" early this year. The article that received coverage by South Korean and U.S. media also said Pyongyang and its leadership is trying to learn from the experiences gained in the building of Hitler's Third Reich following the First World War.

   It said the New Focus article constituted a heinous crime because it belittled the "great personality of the leader of the DPRK." The DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name, while personal criticism of the communist country's leader Kim Jong-un is a grave offense.
The ministry, which is equivalent to a national police agency, said such reporting by defectors has inflamed and outraged the North Korean army and the people.

   Meanwhile, it said U.S. and South Korean authorities and the conservative press in Seoul that have resorted to using lies as part of their ongoing smear campaigns against the DPRK will be confronted "with merciless punishment of justice."

   Related to the North's latest outburst and the threat made to defectors who are now South Korean citizens, a government official in Seoul expressed grave concerns and called on Pyongyang to desist from making provocative statements.

   "Threatening physical harm against defectors will not be tolerated and Seoul makes clear that resolute action will be taken (in the event the North follows through on its threat)," the official said.

   yonngong@yna.co.kr
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