South Korea turns off loudspeaker broadcasts into North


South Korea has stopped broadcasting propaganda via loudspeakers along the border with North Korea, ahead of top-level talks later this week.

The South has dozens of loudspeakers along the border area, which blast everything from K-pop music to critical news reports of the North.

The broadcasts can be heard by the North’s troops stationed along the border and civilians in the area.

It is not known if North Korea will shut its own loudspeakers off.

They usually play reports that are critical of Seoul and its allies.

South Korea’s move was aimed at “reducing military tensions between the South and North and creating the mood of peaceful talks”, the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement to the Yonhap news agency.

North Korea announced at the weekend that it was suspending nuclear tests and closing an atomic test site. The surprise announcement came as the country prepares for historic talks with South Korea and the US.

Pyongyang’s leader Kim Jong-un is due to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in later this Friday at the truce village of Panmunjom, marking the first inter-Korean summit in over a decade.

Mr Kim is also due to meet US President Donald Trump by June. It will be the first ever meeting between two sitting leaders of North Korea and the US.

South Korea’s propaganda broadcasts have been running on and off since the Korean War. The idea is to persuade North Korean soldiers to doubt what they are told by their leaders.

In 2004, the broadcasts were stopped as part of a deal negotiated between both countries.

But in 2015, after two South Korean soldiers were severely injured by North Korean-planted mines in the demilitarised zone (DMZ), the South turned its speakers back on. It was later halted again in 2015 and re-started in 2016 in response to the North testing a hydrogen bomb.



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