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North Korea warns of 'catastrophe' if South launches leaflets

North Korea warned today of a "catastrophic" end in cross-border relations unless South Korea stops the planned launch of anti-Pyongyang leaflets marking a key political event this week in the communist country.

AFP| Updated: Oct 09, 2014, 20:15 PM IST

Seoul: North Korea warned today of a "catastrophic" end in cross-border relations unless South Korea stops the planned launch of anti-Pyongyang leaflets marking a key political event this week in the communist country.

South Korean activists plan to send anti-Pyongyang leaflets into the North from a site near the border tomorrow, when Pyongyang celebrates the anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers' Party.

The exercise comes as hopes have been raised of a constructive reboot in strained inter-Korean relations following the surprise visit of a top-ranking North Korean delegation to the South last week.

The visit on Saturday was led by Hwang Pyong-So, a newly elected vice chairman of the nuclear-armed North's powerful National Defence Commission who is widely seen as Kim Jong-Un's number two.

It resulted in an agreement to resume a high-level dialogue that had been suspended for seven months as military tensions on the divided peninsula soared.

A North Korean state body handling South Korean affairs slammed Friday's leaflet launch as an "intentional" provocation that could drive cross-border relations into catastrophe.

"(Inter-Korean) relations will be driven into uncontrollable catastrophe again if South Korean authorities tolerate the fuss," the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Fatherland said in a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

The committee urged Seoul to prevent such leaflet launches by "human scum" if it intends to improve relations with Pyongyang.

Civic groups in the South regularly float leaflets over the border with messages criticising the Kim dynasty and urging the North Korean people to rise up against repression.

Police have prevented some events when the risk of a North Korean retaliation has been deemed dangerously high, but otherwise they are allowed to go ahead.