A Russian diplomat on Monday suggested that North Korea likely retaliated against defector-led anti-Pyongyang leaflet campaigns in South Korea after recent leaflets contained obscenely edited photos of first lady Ri Sol-ju.
Speaking to TASS Russian News Agency, Russian Ambassador to Pyongyang Alexandre Machegora said the North Korean leadership and citizens were furious over leaflets sent on May 31 containing content that was deemed vulgar and insulting.
Days before demolishing the Gaeseong liaison office, the North's ruling party mouthpiece Rodong Sinmun said plotting to harm the regime's supreme dignity is more threatening than Seoul and Washington's joint military drills.
Pyongyang's retaliation is also believed to have been triggered by posts in the online communities of some defector groups in which individuals claimed to be buying items used by COVID-19 patients to send to North Korea to spark a pandemic that would cause Kim Jong-un's regime to collapse.
Earlier this month, the state-run Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) criticized the leaflet campaigns for hampering the North's quarantine efforts by sending all kinds of trash.