North Korea has launched an estimated 1 million propaganda leaflets by balloon into South Korea amid increased tension between the rivals following the North's supposed recent nuclear test, Seoul officials said Monday. A Cold War-style standoff has flared since the North's claim on Jan. 6 that it had tested a hydrogen bomb. South Korea resumed blasting anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts and K-pop songs from border loudspeakers. North Korea quickly responded by restarting its own border broadcasts and floating the balloons over the border carrying anti-South leaflets, according to Seoul officials.
Seoul's Defense Ministry said Monday the North's military has been sending the balloons on a near-daily basis, and the leaflets have reached Seoul in addition to areas close to the border. South Korean officials believe their broadcasts will sting in the rigidly controlled, authoritarian country by demoralizing front-line troops and residents. There are doubts in Seoul that the North Korean leaflets will have any impact on the public in more affluent South Korea. (Last month, the North's top negotiator with the South died in an accident that analysts say looks suspicious.)