South Korea to resume blasting propaganda, K-pop music across DMZ border with North Korea

Ghena and Lama looking at the North Korean territory through binoculars from the observatory in South Korea

Ghena and Lama looking at the North Korean territory through binoculars from the observatory in South Korea

SEOUL: South Korea is ready to reactivate fixed and mobile propaganda loudspeakers near the border with North Korea as Seoul took steps to fully suspend a 2018 inter-Korean military pact.

The loudspeakers used to blare criticism of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un regime’s human rights abuses, news and K-pop songs.

The loudspeaker campaigns were part of the psychological warfare tactic dating back to the 1950-53 Korean War.

They campaigns were stopped following a deal signed between the two countries during a period of warmer ties in 2018, that included setting up buffer zones around the border to suspend large-scale military drills, as well as banning “hostile” acts between the two Koreas, which restricted the loudspeaker broadcasts.

However, amid growing tension between the two neighbors, South Korea’s military said it remains ready to immediately operate again the loudspeakers.

The decision follows the endorsement by the Cabinet of the suspension of the Comprehensive Military Agreement in response to the North’s trash-carrying balloon campaign and jamming of GPS signals in recent days, Yonhap news agency reported.

The motion will be sent to President Yoon Suk Yeol for signing, and the suspension will allow South Korea to resume large-scale military training near the border and restart loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts toward the North.

“Fixed loudspeakers need to be connected to power and installing them could take hours to a few days,” Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesperson Lee Sung-jun said told a regular briefing. “Mobile loudspeaker operations can be conducted right away.”

A government source said there appears to be no plan to immediately install the fixed equipment as such activities could heighten military tension, noting that the military will likely operate the mobile equipment first if such broadcasts are resumed.

Lee declined to elaborate on the measures the military could take after the pact’s suspension, but noted that they would depend on North Korea’s actions.

“There are things that we can immediately do, and we could make them public, and a lot of those things can be seen as largely depending on North Korea,” he said.


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