This article examines South Korean propaganda leaflets as a border-crossing medium designed as “paper bombs,” or psychological weapons, of the continued Korean War during the Park Chung Hee period. Instead of focusing on the militaristic elements of the earlier leaflets, this article traces the propaganda leaflets’ evolving content about daily economic life and consumption. Historically embedded in the larger narratives of political, ideological, and institutional changes of society in postwar South Korea, the article captures both the materiality and transient nature of the leaflets themselves and the purpose they served as cultural advertisement tools signaling the shifting atmosphere of the Cold War context in Korea. In the leaflets, leisure, consumption, and the pleasures of shopping were exaggerated and magnified, intended to entice the North Korean population and invite them to a different way of life, the “everyday life of consumption” in material comfort and a lifestyle of well-being. Stimulating a way to rethink political penetration into private economic lives, the leaflets became printed windows through which to visualize the forbidden possibilities of capitalism and consumerist modernity, generating internal conflict and the desire to defect to South Korea.

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