A file picture shows South Korean journalists taking images of a propaganda leaflet before the North Korean defectors fly balloons carrying anti North Korea propaganda leaflets into North Korea near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) at Imijingak on Paju in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. EPA/EFE/FILE/JEON HEON-KYUN

South Korean court strikes down law against sending propaganda leaflets to North Korea

Seoul, Sep 26 (EFE).- South Korea’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday struck down a law banning the sending of propaganda leaflets into North Korea, two and a half years after it came into force in a bid to avoid reprisal from the Pyongyang regime.

The law, which had also been drafted to ensure the safety of farmers living and working in border areas, had been criticized by human rights groups for restricting freedom of expression.

According to the law, sending such propaganda leaflets across the border was punishable with up to three years in prison or a fine of up to 30 million won ($27,500).

The law was struck down in the constitutional court by seven votes to two, according to South Korea’s Yonhap agency.

The Pyongyang regime has harshly criticized the sending of these propaganda leaflets from the south, claiming it violates inter-Korean agreements and demanded that the Seoul government take steps to prevent it.

The nonprofit Human Rights Watch criticized the law, approved by the government of the liberal Moon Jae-in at a time when Seoul was trying to repair ties with Pyongyang, considering it only benefited the regime and an inappropriate strategy to win their favor. EFE