Activists release anti-North Korea leaflets

2013-01-01 14:52
A resident with a utility knife tries to tear a balloon with leaflets condemning North Korea as activists launch it during an anti-North Korea rally. (Ahn Young-joon, AP)

A resident with a utility knife tries to tear a balloon with leaflets condemning North Korea as activists launch it during an anti-North Korea rally. (Ahn Young-joon, AP)

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Gwanjeonri - South Korean activists launched balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border on Tuesday as North Korea joined a global party by greeting the New Year with fireworks.

About 30 activists released seven balloons carrying 28 000 leaflets in the northern border town of Gwanjeonri in Cheorwon County, shouting "Down with North Korea's dynastic dictatorship!"

The launch sparked scuffles with ten local residents who voiced fear of North Korean reprisals, but there were no injuries thanks to quick intervention by police.

The launch went ahead despite repeated threats from Pyongyang of military strikes against such exercises.

The leaflets launched on Tuesday urged North Koreans to rise up against their new leader Kim Jong-Un and included pictures of overthrown strongmen like Iraq's Saddam Hussein and Libya's Muammar Gaddafi.

Kim, in his late 20s, came to power after his father and long-time leader Kim Jong-Il died in December 2011.

In Pyongyang, the new leader started the New Year by watching a musical performance and fireworks, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

"Fireworks were displayed to beautifully decorate the nocturnal sky above Pyongyang and bells rang on the New Year," it said.

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