Seoul, South Korea • North Korea's military threatened Friday to strike a South Korean border area where anti-Pyongyang activists plan to launch leaflets from balloons next week. South Korea immediately vowed to retaliate if attacked.
North Korea has made similar threats without following through. Its latest vow came a day after South Korean President Lee Myung-bak warned against provocation as he made a surprise visit to a front-line island shelled by North Korea in 2010.
"Merciless military strike by the Western Front will be put into practice without warning" if South Korean activists make a move to fly leaflets on Monday, the North's military said in a statement in English. It also warned South Korean residents in the border area to evacuate in advance.