After North Korea’s threat, South Korea rushes to take new laws to ban border protests

by Carter Toni

If Seoul fails to prevent the protests, south Korea said Thursday it planned to push new laws to ban activists from flying anti-Pyongyang leaflets over the border after North Korea threatened to end an inter-Korean military agreement reached in 2018 to reduce tensions.

After North Korea’s threat

The South’s desperate try to keep alive a faltering diplomacy will almost definitely trigger debates over freedom of speech in a of Asia’s most vibrant democracies.

North Korea considers it an attack on its government, although sending balloons across the border has been a common activist tactic for years. Defectors and also other activists in recent weeks have used balloons to fly leaflets criticizing the North’s authoritarian leader Kim Jong Un over his nuclear ambitions and dismal human rights record.

While Seoul has sometimes sent police officers to bar such activities during times of high tension, it had resisted the North’s calls to totally ban them, saying the activists were exercising their freedoms.

The shift followed remarks earlier each day from Kim’s powerful sister, who threatened to finish the military agreement and said the North could permanently shut a liaison office and an inter-Korean factory park which have been major symbols of reconciliation.

In her statement released through state media, Kim Yo Jong referred to as the defectors active in the balloon launches “human scum” and “mongrel dogs” who betrayed their homeland and said it was “time to give their owners to account,” discussing the us government in Seoul.

Yoh Sang-key, spokesman of South Korea’s Unification Ministry, said the balloon campaigns were threatening the protection of residents surviving in the border area which his government will push for legal changes to “fundamentally resolve tension-creating activities.”

When asked whether the ministry would specifically express regret across the North’s threat to abandon inter-Korean agreements, Yoh said: “we will substitute our evaluation (from the North Korean) statement with all the announcement of the government position (in the issue).”

South Korea’s ruling liberal party and its particular satellite party have 180 seats inside the 300-seat National Assembly after winning April’s elections, passing it on a great majority to win approval for the proposal in parliament.

North Korea’s latest denouncement of the balloon protests follows months of frustration within the South’s unwillingness to defy US-led international sanctions against the North.

Kim Yo Jong took a better profile in North Korean affairs included in her brother’s diplomatic efforts in 2018 and possesses been issuing her first public statements as that diplomacy has slowed in recent months. State media has carried her comments ridiculing Seoul for protesting a North Korean military drill but praising President Donald Trump for offering to help you the North with anti-virus efforts.

“(South Korean) authorities will have to pay a dear price when they allow this to situation go on while making kind of excuses,” she said in advocating South Korea outlaw the balloon protests.

“If they neglect to take corresponding steps for your senseless act up against the fellow countrymen, that they had better get themselves ready for potential for the total withdrawal of your already desolate Kaesong Industrial Park after the stop to tour of (Diamond Mountain), or shutdown from the (North-South) joint liaison office whose existence only increases trouble, or even the scrapping of your (North-South) agreement in military field which is hardly of any value.”

Inside a separate statement, the international affairs department in the North’s ruling Workers’ Party accused U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of spewing “rubbish” over his critical comments toward Beijing, which is Pyongyang’s biggest ally.

In a Fox News interview on Sunday, Pompeo said the Chinese Communist Party was putting Americans at risk because it has come to “view itself as intent upon the destruction of Western ideas, Western democracies, Western values.”

The department’s unidentified spokesman also commented in the intensifying protests in the states within the death of George Floyd, praoclaiming that the unrest exposes harsh realities in America.

“Demonstrators enraged by the extreme racists throng even going to the White House. This is basically the reality within the U.S. today. American liberalism and democracy place the cap of leftist about the demonstrators and threaten to unleash even dogs for suppression.”

Seoul has touted the military agreement, reached through the third summit between Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, like a major step in the peace process.

The Koreas had agreed to jointly seek out human remains from your 1950-53 Korean War and do something to lower conventional military threats, for example establishing buffer and no-fly zones. Additionally they removed some front-line guard posts and jointly surveyed a waterway near their western border to allow freer civilian navigation.

However, the North has been less enthusiastic about upholding inter-Korean agreements as the larger nuclear talks with the U.S. stalemate. North Korea has suspended nearly all cooperation using the South, whilst pressuring Seoul to destroy away from Washington and restart the joint economic projects, which will breathe life in the North’s broken economy.

“If they truly value the (North-South) agreements and also have a will to thoroughly implement them, they need to clear their home of rubbish,” said Kim Yo Jong, who’s considered her brother’s closest confidant.

The liaison office in Kaesong continues to be closed since late January once the Koreas decided to temporarily shut down up until the coronavirus outbreak is controlled.

The North has also postponed plans to tear down South Korean-made hotels as well as other facilities on the North’s Diamond Mountain resort within its virus-prevention efforts. It offers said there hasn’t been a single case of Covid-19 on its territory, claims widely disbelieved.

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