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South Korea to revoke permits of North Korean defectors

Tensions on peninsula high as anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets sent across border

South Korea to revoke permits of North Korean defectors


South Korea on Tuesday said they could ban two North Korean defector groups in the country over their sending of anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets, local media reported.

The South Korean Unification Ministry filed a criminal complaint against two two North Korean defector-run groups -- Fighters for a Free North Korea and Kuensaem-- and revoked their permits, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The move came after last month North Korea attacked and blew up the inter-Korean liaison office along the border in anger over leaflets sending across the border by the groups criticizing leader Kim Jong-un, saying such leafleting violates a series of peace agreements between the two sides.

Last month, the ministry held a closed-door hearing to give the groups one last chance to explain themselves before going ahead with the revocation process.

Kuensaem officials attended the hearing, but Fighters for a Free North Korea did not send its representatives, according to the agency.

Fighters for a Free North Korea, run by North Korean defector Park Sang-hak, and Kuensaem, run his younger brother Park Jung-oh, are among the most active groups in sending leaflets that criticize leader Kim Jong-un and his family, according to the news agency.

Tensions on the peninsula have increased particularly due to Seoul’s failure to stop anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets from being sent across the border.

*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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