Protesters tear N. Korean flags, leader’s photos in Seoul

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Seoul, Feb 10 (IANS) Conservative activists tore photos of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un and attempted to burn its national flag in demonstrations here on Saturday against Pyongyang’s participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

A flurry of demonstrations took place on the streets as Kim’s sister and other high-ranking officials visited the presidential office and North Korean art troupe Samjiyon Orchestra arrived in Seoul to perform on Sunday, Yonhap news agency reported.

Some 800 anti-North Korean protesters marched and staged street performances in front of the Deoksu Palace in central Seoul, condemning the North Korean leader and President Moon Jae-in, who they regard as too soft on the North.

Photos of Kim Jong-un and North Korea’s national flags were seen damaged and in tatters. Some were holding up a ripped-up “Korean Unification” flag, which was used when athletes from South and North Korea made a joint entrance at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympics on Friday night.

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Some people tried to burn the North Korean national flag, but were contained by police.

“You are fired. Get out of here Korea,” one protester, wearing a mask of US President Donald Trump, shouted at a protester wearing a mask of the South Korean President.

Three people playing the roles of President Moon, the North Korean leader and Kim Yong-nam, North Korea’s ceremonial head of state, respectively, walked in silence, tied to each other by a rope.

Similar demonstrations took place sporadically around the city.

The protests took place as Kim Jong-un, in a message delivered by his sister Kim Yo-jong, invited Moon to Pyongyang at the “earliest date” possible for what will be a third inter-Korean summit.

–IANS

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