South Korea to resume loudspeaker broadcasts on North Korea border

The loudspeakers were dismantled as part of the Aug. 25 agreement between North and South.
By Elizabeth Shim  |  Jan. 7, 2016 at 1:21 PM
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SEOUL, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- South Korea's National Security Council has decided to resume loudspeaker broadcasts across the heavily fortified border along the demilitarized zone.

The announcement comes after a meeting of the council chaired by Seoul's National Security Adviser Kim Kwan-jin, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

"North Korea has ignored the repeated warnings of South Korea and the international community and announced that it had conducted its fourth nuclear test," said Cho Tae-yong, the first deputy director of South Korea's National Security Council.

Cho said the fourth nuclear test is a direct violation of promises and obligations to the international community and the United Nations Security Council, and a serious violation of the Aug. 25 North-South agreement.

"The government decided to resume loudspeaker broadcasts, starting Jan. 8 at noon," Cho said Thursday.

The South Korean official said Seoul's troops are maintaining preparedness, and if North Korea pursues further provocations, "decisive punishment" is to follow.

South Korean news outlet Money Today reported the tensions that escalated at the border in August are likely to recur following the government's decision to transmit South Korea propaganda broadcasts across the DMZ.

During the summer conflict, North Korea threatened retaliation after South Korea began its propaganda campaign as payback for land mine explosions that critically injured two South Korean soldiers.

North Korea then reopened shooting posts near the DMZ and increased target practice for guns aimed at the South's propaganda loudspeakers.

The loudspeakers were dismantled as part of the Aug. 25 agreement between North and South.

In previous cases, loudspeaker broadcasts included information that criticized the Kim Jong Un regime and played Korean pop music.

Defectors in South Korea previously have said they were motivated to leave North Korea after listening to South Korea programs that they were able to secretly receive through transistor radios.

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