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N. Korea Says South's Broadcasts Could provoke a serious military clash.

North Korea blasted South Korea on Oct. 1 for propaganda broadcasts into its territory, saying the "despicable psychological campaign&...

North Korea blasted South Korea on Oct. 1 for propaganda broadcasts into its territory, saying the "despicable psychological campaign" could provoke a serious military clash.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Post and Communications threatened "merciless punishment" by the army against broadcasters if the campaign persisted.

The unidentified spokesman, quoted by the North's official news agency, said anti-Pyongyang broadcasts began in mid-August from an island near the Yellow Sea border and used the same frequency as the North's TV.

They were directed towards western areas of the North including North Pyongan province, the spokesman said in a statement.

The statement said the South had also intensified its radio propaganda on the same radio frequency used for the North's broadcasts.

"It has worked with bloodshot eyes to intensify psychological warfare, encroaching upon the radio frequency band of the DPRK (North Korea), as if it were not enough with scattering leaflets, DVDs and transistor radios in the DPRK to hurt its system," the statement said.

It said ministries, the intelligence service, conservative media and "human scum who defected to the south" were involved in what it called a smear campaign.

The North said the "provocative and dangerous" campaign may push relations "to a grave military clash" and breached an international treaty governing the use of broadcasting frequencies.

"It is ridiculous for the group to try to break the single-minded unity of the DPRK and bring down Korean-style socialism with such broadcasting piracy," it said.

The North has frequently threatened to open fire across the border at sites where South Korean activists launch anti-Pyongyang leaflets, DVDs and small radios. But it has not previously made much mention of the broadcasts.

The two sides agreed in 2004 to halt state-level cross-border propaganda.

But the South resumed "Voice of Freedom" broadcasts after accusing the North of torpedoing a warship in March 2010 with the loss of 46 lives.

Leaflet launches by the South's military ended in 2000 when ties improved.

They were restarted after the North shelled a border island last November and killed four South Koreans.

Private groups of activists and defectors also launch their own leaflets and DVDs, which criticize the North's regime and leader Kim Jong-Il and call for an Arab-style uprising.

The South's defense ministry has declined comment on military psychological operations, saying they are confidential.

A media report said the North sent an agent last month to try to assassinate a defector involved in the leaflet launches.

The South's intelligence service uncovered the plot and arrested the agent in Seoul, according to the report and the defector himself.




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