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Opposition leader calls for reconciliation with N. Korea

All Headlines 12:05 October 12, 2011

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's opposition leader called Wednesday for the government to improve ties with North Korea as Pyongyang issued a fresh warning against propaganda leaflets launched across the border.

Tensions still linger between the two divided Koreas over the North's two deadly attacks on the South last year, which killed a total of 50 South Koreans.

South Korea has, however, recently vowed to take a more flexible line with the North amid growing calls for an easing of tensions with North Korea.

Sohn Hak-kyu, the leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, pressed the conservative government to reconcile with North Korea, saying inter-Korean exchange and cooperation are the key to unification.

He made the comment in a meeting with a group of religious leaders who made a rare trip to North Korea last month.

His remarks came as North Korea warned that South Korea's slander against the North could cause a military clash and lead a full-scale war at any moment, referring to anti-Pyongyang leaflets being sent across the shared border by activists.

"This psychological warfare is an act of war," the North's state newspaper Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary carried by the country's official Korean Central News Agency.

North Korean defectors and other South Korean activists have frequently sent leaflets condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong-il over the border by balloon, calling for an uprising against him.

The defectors released some 200,000 leaflets on Monday in their latest campaign, which coincided with the 66th anniversary of the North's ruling Workers' Party.

The North is very sensitive to any outside criticism of its leader and has made similar verbal threats against the South over leaflets in recent years.


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