North Korea’s military on Sunday threatened to blow up balloons that South Korean activists plan to send over the heavily-militarized border carrying 10,000 DVDs of the comedy, “The Interview.” Activists plan to launch copies of the film — a comedy about a fictional CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un — as well as 500,000 propaganda leaflets across the border on or around March 26. Pyongyang has long condemned such balloon launches and threatened retaliation, and local residents have complained the activists are putting their lives at risk by making them potential targets.
All the firepower strike means of the frontline units of the (Korean People’s Army) will launch without prior warning… to blow up balloons.
North Korea’s frontline military units, in a notice to the South
The South’s military said it would retaliate if the North opens fire on its territory. But the North’s notice warned that any challenge to its “just physical countermeasures” will trigger “merciless retaliatory strikes.” South Koreans living near the border are “recommended to evacuate in advance for their safety” if the balloons are launched, it said. The warning came even after South Korea’s Unification Ministry on Friday vowed to take steps preventing the launch in order to protect local residents, saying there is a “limit” to freedom of expression. In October last year North Korean soldiers attempted to shoot down some balloons, triggering a brief exchange of heavy machine-gun fire across the border.