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The poster was provided by a Chinese trader who had just returned from a business trip to North Korea, according to RFA. Beneath the picture, it screams, “If you come at us, (we will destroy you) with a single blow!”
Releasing the image yesterday, RFA cited the trader as saying, “I have met several North Korean cadres who, when the Lee Myung Bak administration pointed to the North as the criminal, insisted it was a fabrication. However, while saying the Cheonan was not attacked by them, it is not logical for the authorities to advertise it with this poster depicting the back of a warship broken in two.”
The Chinese trader went on, “The North Korean people are in a mood whereby they have significant confidence in their military power.” The reaction of cadres, he said, is “no matter how harsh UN sanctions against us get, we are still fine.”
In the RFA report, a South Korean military expert explained, “Judging from the shape, it is clear that the warship on the poster is a patrol ship, the same kind of warship as the Cheonan, not a destroyer or a frigate,” and added, “The North Korean authorities seem to have produced the poster to maintain soldier confidence.”
However, a defector from North Hamkyung Province who also spoke to RFA said, “Even though a rumor that our heroic navy had dealt a blow (to the South) circulated within the Chosun People’s Army immediately after the Cheonan incident happened, the authorities insisted it was a fabrication by South Chosun. Therefore, soldiers cannot trust them.”
In late April, a Daily NK source reported that the authorities advertized proudly after the incident that they had taken revenge on the enemy, and that South Korea was living in fear of the North’s military ability.