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Moon wants propaganda fliers to N. Korea discontinued: official

2017/08/04 23:19

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SEOUL, Aug. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in wants his people to stop sending anti-North Korean propaganda leaflets across the inter-Korean border, according to a senior Cheong Wa Dae official Friday.

"President Moon has expressed concerns regarding propaganda leaflets to North Korea as a matter that could prompt accidental clashes," the official at the presidential office told Yonhap News Agency over the phone. "(The president) ordered aides to find ways for clashes to not occur," the official added.

The remarks were reportedly made during a meeting with senior aides last month after Pyongyang announced it test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile, in an apparent effort to minimize the risks of an inter-Korean conflict amid heightened tensions.

"The president explained past situations in which the North fired anti-aircraft guns towards balloons from the South carrying leaflets and then our military fired return shots," the official explained, adding that Moon expressed a "considerable amount of concern" towards accidental conflicts.

For years, North Korean defectors in the South and conservative activists have flown the leaflets to the North via balloons to help encourage North Koreans to rise up against the Pyongyang regime. South Korea has said there are no legal grounds to prevent the activists from sending the leaflets, citing freedom of expression.

In this file photo, members of the Fighters for Free North Korea, an organization of defectors from North Korea, launch balloons carrying anti-North leaflets across the border from Gimpo, north of Seoul, on June 22, 2017. The leaflets included photos of Otto Warmbier, an American university student who died after he was released by the North while in a coma, and condolences on his death. (Photo provided by Fighters for Free North Korea) (Yonhap) In this file photo, members of the Fighters for Free North Korea, an organization of defectors from North Korea, launch balloons carrying anti-North leaflets across the border from Gimpo, north of Seoul, on June 22, 2017. The leaflets included photos of Otto Warmbier, an American university student who died after he was released by the North while in a coma, and condolences on his death. (Photo provided by Fighters for Free North Korea) (Yonhap)

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