SEOUL - South Korea would launch a counter-strike at the source of any North Korean attack, Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said on Friday, after Pyongyang threatened to open fire on South Korean territory if anti-North leaflets were sent over their border.

"If that were to happen, there will be a perfect response against the source of the attack," Kim was quoted by Yonhap news agency as telling a parliamentary committee when asked about the threat made by the North earlier on Friday.

North Korea said it would deal a "merciless military strike" if leaflets were dropped as scheduled on Monday. A non-government group of North Korean exiles and activists said it would go ahead with a plan to send anti-Pyongyang propaganda.

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