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North Korea Has a Fax Machine, and It's Not Afraid to Use It

fax machineForget nuclear warheads and long-range missiles. The most potent weapon in North Korea's arsenal might just be its fax machine.

On December 8th, Pyongyang began distributing propagandistic faxes to South Korean companies, blaming the South for the November 23rd attack on Yeonpyeong Island. "Responsibility for the attack lies with the South," the fax reads. "Groups in the South should rise up against the South Korean government." South Korean Unification Ministry deputy spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo says 15 companies reported having received the fax, including two religious organizations, seven trade groups, five civic groups, and one media company. An estimated 50 to 80 companies likely received the same fax, but have not yet reported it to the government.

The North's fax attack seems to be the latest volley in an ongoing "propaganda war" between the two Koreas. After South Korea's Cheonan warship sunk in March, Seoul began airing anti-Pyongyang broadcasts aimed at North Koreans. Nonprofit organizations, meanwhile, began dropping informative pamphlets, DVDs and AM/FM radios across North Korea, in an attempt to circumvent Kim Jong-Il's hermetic media control.

And now, with North Korea whipping out its flotilla of fax machines, it appears that the region is once again on the brink of total office space disaster. It's only a matter of time before one side pulls out a stapler, and this thing really gets messy.

Tags: conflict, fax, FaxAttacks, FaxMachine, KimJong-il, NorthKorea, politics, propaganda, security, south korea, SouthKorea, top