Important to prevent escalation of tensions on Korean Peninsula: Japanese govt

Tokyo, June 10 (FN Bureau) The Japanese government said on Monday that it is necessary to refrain from raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea resumed sending trash-filled balloons to South Korea, with Seoul vowing to resume propaganda broadcasts. “It is important that this [the conflict] does not lead to an increase in tensions between the two Koreas or an escalation of the situation. We intend to take all measures to collect and analyze relevant information, and will continue to be ready to respond as necessary in cooperation with various countries, including South Korea,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi told a press conference. On Sunday, South Korea resumed loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts on the border with North Korea in response to Pyongyang’s repeated sending of garbage-filled balloons into the South, news agency Yonhap reported, citing the country’s military.

Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the vice department director of the central committee of the Workers’ Party, warned of a new response in case South Korea launches new propaganda leaflets and broadcasts. Last week, North Korea said it had sent 3,500 air balloons carrying 15 tonnes of trash to South Korea in a response to the recent increase in cases of South Korean activists sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets to the North. In retaliation, the South Korean military said it would resume all military activities in the area of the demilitarized zone and islands near North Korea that were restricted by the inter-Korean military agreement, saying that the full responsibility for the situation lies with North Korea.