A large volume of North Korean propaganda leaflets and CDs were disbursed around key installations at the U.S. Army Yongsan Garrison and other locations throughout South Korea.
The U.S. Eighth Army’s counterintelligence unit put out a warning on social media on Wednesday notifying U.S. personnel of the propaganda material and how to handle it should U.S. troops in the region come across it.
“A significant number of propaganda leaflets and CDs were found in strategic locations at USAG-Yongsan. While leaflets are not uncommon, the volume and targeted locations make this a significant event,” a Twitter post by the Yongsan Garrison reads.
The social media post directs U.S. forces to report sightings of the propaganda material and to report it to their appropriate security personnel or counterintelligence agents. U.S. troops should not make copies or handle the materials themselves, according to the message.
“It is common to sometimes find propaganda leaflets,” said Christina Wright, a spokesperson for the U.S. Eighth Army. “We want to make sure that people know the correct procedures to follow if this is something they encounter.” The Eighth Army is forward deployed to the Republic of Korea.
“I am not surprised to hear of efforts by North Korea to deliver propaganda beyond their borders,” said Dr. William Parker, a former chief of staff of U.S. naval surface forces and current chief operating officer at the EastWest Institute. “In this specific case, it appears the U.S. Army is taking all the right steps by determining how the propaganda was physically delivered and ensuring Americans and our allies are equipped to properly deal with potentially nefarious acts by potential adversaries.”
The warning from the Eighth Army comes as tensions on the Korean peninsula have been heightened over ratcheted rhetoric between North Korea and the U.S.
At the end of November, North Korea successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile called the Hwasong-15 missile, which is capable of hitting most of the continental United States.