MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - A recent survey found that almost 50% of South Koreans insist their government should curb activists showering North Korea with anticommunist leaflets, Yonhapnews reports.
The national opinion poll, carried out by the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University in July, showed that 49,1% of its citizens thought the propaganda should be stopped, 14,9% spoke against governmental interference, while 36,1% didn’t take sides. The tensions are caused by a group of activists, led by North Korean defectors, who have been sending helium-filled balloons over the border to spread anti-regime leaflets on the North’s territory. In July, the group bombarded their Northern neighbor with thousands of Choco Pies in response to North Korea labelling the snack “a symbol of capitalism” and prohibiting it. Last weekend 200, 000 leaflets were sent across disparaging the communist authorities.
Seoul sees no reason for barring South Koreans from conducting a propaganda war as it is “their freedom of expression”. Pyongyang diplomats are not happy with the propaganda and have filed numerous voices of protest to its South counterparts calling the leaflet drops “a war-provoking act”. In addition, North Korea is threatening its Southern neighbor with cancellation of the North-South partnership.
While the countries have not formally ended the conflict of 1950-1953, they have not signed a peace treaty and sometimes exchange hostilities. Public opinion has been changing recently as well, as people reportedly consider the activists’ behavior impertinent and stubborn and fear it can derail the shaky peace between the states.