Anti-South Korean and anti-U.S. propaganda leaflets, shared with NK News on Wednesday, are popping up in the Seoul suburbs of Walker Hill and Itaewon.
The leaflets primarily focus on attacking South Korean President Park Guen-hye, other South Korean officials and joint military exercises seen by the North Koreans as being tantamount to acts of war.
The leaflet found in Walker Hill depicts Park with fangs, dressed in military gear and covered in war paint.
The war paint being applied shows the names of several key military activities jointly held by U.S. and South Korean forces, which include the so-called “decapitation operations” targeting the North’s leadership, Foal Eagle and Ulchi Freedom joint exercises and the Terminal High Altitude Areal Defense (THAAD) system.
The other side of the leaflet also contains a similarly graphic depiction of Park, which calls for “humiliation and destruction for the mad woman.”
A second leaflet, found in Itaewon, a district popular with foreigners, is also critical of the THAAD deployment decision. It shows U.S. President Barack Obama operating the system with several key South Korean officials representing missiles, and says that the South Korean military “humiliates its people like pigs and dogs for (the) Yankee’s strategic goals.”
The other side of the leaflet calls for the execution of Park “and her clan” and shows the severed heads of key South Korean government and military officials.
While containing heavily anti-ROK and U.S. sentiments, it is unclear whether these leaflets were made in and distributed from North Korea or domestically produced.
North Korean propaganda leaflets have been sent over the border frequently in the past, sometimes via balloons. 1 million propaganda leaflets were distributed using this method early in 2016.
South Korea civic groups also send propaganda leaflets north, as well as bundles of cash, information about life in the South and at times, foreign films and DVDs.
All of the leaflets were in pristine condition, indicating that they arrived in Seoul in the past few days.
There was no indication on when exactly the leaflets have arrived in Seoul, but as there were no signs of them being wet or torn apart by rain, it is possible that they arrived late at night on Tuesday, November 15, the only day of the week it has not rained in Seoul.
Rev. Eric Foley, CEO of the Voice of the Martyrs Korea, whose organization utilizes advanced projection algorithms to plan its balloon launches, provided a map estimating where in the North the leaflet balloons might have come from.
“These are the present wind conditions at high altitude, which are similar to the conditions we had yesterday,” said Foley.
“The trajectory that is shown would be for a high altitude balloon. You can see the burst marker in South Korea. That is the point that a high altitude balloon would burst. Then the leaflets would be scattered over a considerable distance, say, 40-100 km.”
“Historically, North Korea has used balloons as part of a coordinated ‘message offensive’: newspapers, state media, and balloons. Flyers shown here are certainly consistent with the message that has been broadcast by the North Korean media in the past week.”
One Seoul-based security expert agreed with Foley’s view, arguing the leaflets are almost certainly from the North, as the messages are clearly aimed at driving a wedge between South Koreans.
“Whether the North has spread them via a balloon system, or if a spy in the South has, the leaflets are all written in typical North Korean fonts,” Jeong Jin-man, a researcher from the Special Disaster Prevention Center at Yongin University, told NK News.
The timing of when the leaflets were found was also significant, coming only a few days after a mass protest against President in Seoul, with over one million South Koreans estimated to have participated.
Featured image: NK News