Low-class propagandaNorth Korea flatly denied that it is accountable for the three drones recovered in South Korea, denouncing Seoul for fabricating evidence and calling the claim that Pyongyang sent the unmanned aerial vehicles a smear campaign. South Korea’s Ministry of Defense last week announced that circumstantial evidence point to the North as the origin of the three unmanned aerial vehicles found in three different places over the last few weeks.
In its first statement on the issue, the North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea accused Seoul of plotting to turn the drone incident into another Cheonan case. It proposed a joint investigation into all of the incidents for which Seoul blames Pyongyang, including the allegations on the drones and the sinking of the Cheonan warship that cost 46 lives in 2010. The president’s office retorted that “no one would let a criminal suspect investigate a case.”
The proposal for a joint investigation is “low-class propaganda.” North Korea wants to stir up a commotion and confusion among people in the South. Pyongyang’s response came immediately after a member of the opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, Jung Chung-rae, questioned the validity of the preliminary finding, saying, “It is ridiculous to pinpoint North Korea just because of the North Korean-style marks on the drones.” The Defense Ministry accused him of lacking even basic knowledge about military equipment and affairs. The exchange of harsh words between Jung and the Defense Ministry spread quickly on the Internet. The reckless comments politicized a major security issue and gave North Korea a good excuse to attempt to reverse the game. No other country would dare to send unmanned reconnaissance aircraft over military training compounds near the sea border and take pictures of the presidential residence and military facilities.
North Korea carried out a slander and propaganda campaign four years ago following the international investigation of the Cheonan sinking to divide opinions in the South. It claimed “monstrous plotting” by Seoul, spurring sprawling rumors and conspiracies around the investigation results. But if North Korea thinks it can shake our society, it is clearly wrong. Its behavior will only strengthen our security awareness and vigilance. The government must quickly finish a scientific analysis of the computer memory chips secured from the debris and clearly reply to the North’s allegations.
JoongAng Ilbo, April 16, Page 30