South Korean residents pray during Christmas mass on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea in 2010. South Korean residents of the bombarded island are worried about another North Korea retaliation. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo
SEOUL, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- South Korean residents of a bombarded island are worried about another North Korea retaliation after the resumption of loudspeaker broadcasts across the heavily fortified border.
Locals on Yeonpyeong Island went about business as usual but tuned into live television news when the broadcasts began at noon Friday, Yonhap reported.
A 58-year-old resident with the surname Kim said he had to stop working because of his fears of more North Korea provocations.
"This is a sensitive issue for people here who have experienced direct damage due to North Korea incitements," Kim said.
But Park Chun-geun, 56, chief of a village on Yeonpyeong, said many residents are going about their everyday business, despite the loss they suffered when North Korea shelled the island in November 2010, killing four South Koreans.
South Korea expanded troop presence on the island Wednesday and raised the alert level along the maritime border after North Korea's announcement of a successful hydrogen bomb test. Since the 2010 attack, the island has begun 24-hour operations at seven evacuation shelters.
North Korea issued a strong response to the South's loudspeaker broadcasts in August, but on Friday did not issue a statement to Seoul's propaganda transmissions.
South Korean newspaper Maeil Business reported the North instead has resumed its own loudspeaker broadcasts to block out the noise, but the North's transmissions were barely audible on the South Korea side, a military official said.
Seoul's broadcasts have featured a variety of media, including a Korean indie pop song that includes rap lyrics, and public service announcements urging listeners to quit smoking, South Korean outlet News 1 reported.
In a more political segment, Seoul's propaganda promoted its "world-class laws" regarding individual privacy.
"In [South Korea], state institutions are banned from forcibly or secretly taking down personal information on its citizens, including their name, phone number or blood type," a South Korean reporter stated in one broadcast segment.
"[But] in dictatorships, even the basic human desires [for secrecy] are suppressed."