South Korea says North Korea is installing its own speakers along the border


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s military said Monday it is seeing signs that North Korea is installing its own loudspeakers along its heavily armed border, a day after the South launched its first anti-Pyongyang propaganda campaign in the South. broadcasts blared over his speakers. years in which the rivals are engaged a psychological warfare in the style of the Cold War.

The South’s resumption of loudspeaker broadcasts on Sunday was in retaliation for the North sending out more than 1,000 people. balloons filled with waste and manure in recent weeks. North Korea has described its balloon campaign as a tit-for-tat against South Korean civilian groups anti-North Korean propaganda leaflets flying over the border. Pyongyang has long condemned the country for being extremely sensitive to outside criticism of leader Kim Jong Un’s authoritarian rule.

Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff did not immediately comment on the number of suspected North Korean speakers or where they were spotted along the border. It said speakers were still silent on Monday afternoon.

South Korea activated its speakers on Sunday for a first broadcast in North Korea, which reportedly included news, criticism of the North Korean government and South Korean pop music.

Hours later on Sunday, Kim’s powerful sister warned that the South was creating a “prelude to a very dangerous situation.” She said South Korea will witness an unspecified “new response” from the North if it continues the broadcasts and fails to stop civilian activists from distributing anti-North Korean propaganda leaflets across the border.

“I sternly warn Seoul to immediately denounce its dangerous activities, which would further provoke a crisis of confrontation,” Kim Yo Jong said via state media.

Lee Sung Joon, spokesman for South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Kim’s comments represented a heightened verbal threat from North Korea, but he did not provide a specific assessment of what actions the North might take. Lee said the South was conducting deployments to locations where soldiers have adequate protection and are equipped to strike back quickly if attacked.

“(We) don’t think they can provoke us so easily,” Lee said at a briefing on Monday.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff did not specify which border area Sunday’s broadcast took place or what was played over the loudspeakers. It said any additional deployments would be “completely dependent on North Korea’s behavior.”

The South withdrew speakers from border areas in 2018, during a brief period of cooperation with the North under Seoul’s previous liberal government.

In deciding to restart loudspeaker broadcasts, South Korea’s presidential office denounced Pyongyang for trying to cause “fear and disruption” in the South and stressed that North Korea would be “solely responsible” for any future escalation of tensions.

The North said the balloon campaign came after South Korean activists sent balloons full of anti-North Korean leaflets, as well as USB drives full of popular South Korean songs and dramas. Pyongyang is extremely sensitive to such material and fears it could demoralize frontline troops and residents and ultimately weaken leader Kim Jong Un’s grip on power, analysts say.

In 2015, as South Korea resumed loudspeaker broadcasts for the first time in 11 years, North Korea fired artillery rounds across the border, prompting South Korea to fire back, according to South Korean officials. No casualties have been reported.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top