Sister of North Korean leader warns South on border broadcasts

Tit-for-tat responses raise tensions.
By RFA staff
2024.06.09
Sister of North Korean leader warns South on border broadcasts Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at a 2022 meeting.
KCNA/AFP

The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has warned South Korea of danger after it resumed cross-border propaganda broadcasts, the latest response in a series of tit-for-tat measures that has increased tension along their border.

North Korea last month began sending balloons carrying trash over the border into the South in response to earlier balloon flights by activists in the South who sent propaganda materials drifting into the North.

Both sides have used such tactics for decades but this recent round of actions has brought renewed tension to one of the world’s most sensitive and highly fortified frontiers.

Last week, South Korea suspended a 2018 pact aimed at reducing tension on the border and on Sunday it resumed propaganda broadcasts through loudspeakers into the North.

Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of the North Korean leader, denounced the South for what she called its “despicable political agitation” in comments broadcast by the Noth’s KCNA state news agency on Sunday and warned of a North Korean response.

“This is a prelude to a very dangerous situation,” she said.

North Korea had said earlier it would temporarily suspend its cross-border balloon campaign, though threatening to resume it if more anti-Pyongyang leaflets were sent from South Korea.

Kim Yo Jong said the North Korean action was being resumed in response to the South’s loudspeaker broadcasts, which the South said it started up again on the weekend.

South Korea considers its  loudspeaker campaign to be an important psychological warfare tool involving blaring messages over the border including criticism of the North’s human rights record, news and K-pop songs, to the fury of North Korea.

Separately, the North staged GPS jamming attacks in waters near South Korea’s northwestern border islands for several days last week.

Edited by RFA staff.

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