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TOKYO (Sputnik) – The South Korean parliament has approved a bill prohibiting the launch of propaganda leaflets across the border to North Korea as a measure to protect residents of borderline areas, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported on Monday.
The bill was passed in a 187-0 vote, according to the report. It prohibits catapulting leaflets containing criticism of North Korea’s political system and leader Kim Jong Un, making it punishable by three years in prison or a $30,000 fine.
“It is the least possible measure to protect the lives and safety of people living in border areas,” an unnamed official of the Ministry of Unification was quoted in the report as saying.
Following a relative quiet in the inter-Korean relations during the coronavirus outbreak, tensions heated up in June as North Korea was angered by a campaign of South-based defectors flying anti-Pyongyang leaflets on balloons across the border. The North threatened the South with a state-level action and even blew up the joint communications office.