North Korea is set to deploy troops to the border with the South and will drop leaflets criticising Seoul in retaliation of propaganda drops from the South amid heightening tensions
Pyongyang has said that Seoul’s offer of a special envoy is “nonsensical” as it retaliates further for anti-Kim leaflets.
Pyongyang has rejected South Korea’s offer to send special envoys to the North after the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea blew up an office meant for inter-Korea peace discussions on Tuesday.
Instead, the North has said that it will redeploy its military forces to two inter-Korea tourist and economic sites nearby the heavily fortified border between the north and the South.
This news comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly received cardiovascular surgery after deteriorating in recent months due to heavy smoking, obesity and overwork.
The heightening of tensions within the Korean peninsula comes in reaction to North Korean defectors and South Korean activists sending propaganda leaflets about Supreme leader Kim Jong Un over the border via balloons that drop materials, a tactic that has been ongoing for several years.
Military forces will be deployed at the sites of the Mount Kumgang resort in the east, as well as the Kaesong industrial complex, where the joint liaison office it destroyed was, according to the North’s General Staff.
Once symbols of co-operation, the inter-Korean sites have been left empty for several years as the two Korean states have disagreed over the North’s nuclear weapons programme.
This comes after 180 soldiers in the North Korean army had reportedly been killed by COVID-19 in early March, leaving the world to wonder the true extent of damage caused by the outbreak in the country.
The North have said that it will also get its citizens to fly propaganda-filled air balloons towards South Korea.
The north will also restore its guard posts in the demilitarised zone (DMZ), which were removed back in a 2018 peace agreement, and resume “all kinds of regular military exercises” near to the border which were put on hold under the peace agreement.
This comes after 180 soldiers in the North Korean army had reportedly been killed by COVID-19 back in early March, leaving the world to wonder the true extent of damage caused by the outbreak in the country.
In a step seen by many as a strengthening of her power in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim’s sister, Kim Yo-Jong, criticised the South Korean president Moon Jae-in for failing to apologise for the leaflets, accusing him of “pro-US flunkeyism”.
She referred to Mr Moon’s offer of sending a special envoy to the North “unrealistic” and “nonsensical”, saying that Seoul must pay for its failure to stop anti-Pyongyang activists from sending leaflets into North Korea.
South Korea’s presidential office has responded to her criticism, calling it “rude” and “senseless” and warned that it will no longer tolerate such “indiscreet” language and acts from the nation. It also said that the North’s public disclosure of its offer of a special envoy was an “unprecedented senseless act”.
The South Korean defence ministry has warned that the North will pay the price if it takes up military action, with the unification ministry stressing expressing “strong regret” over the North’s plans to send forces to the joint zones.