Seoul stops propaganda broadcasts on Pyongyang

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Seoul, April 23 (IANS) South Korea stopped broadcasting propaganda along its border with North Korea on Monday to help promote the mood of rapprochement on the peninsula ahead of the inter-Korean leaders’ summit later this week.

This measure was aimed at “reducing military tensions between the South and North and creating the mood of peaceful talks”, Efe news quoted the South Korean Ministry of Defence as saying.

Seoul used to broadcast propaganda against the Pyongyang regime through the loudspeakers along its border with the North, which were loud enough to be heard in the North Korean territory and could reach areas as far as 25 km from the border.

These loudspeakers, which have been used by both countries as a regular tool of “psychological warfare”, were still in use last week.

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Although both the countries agreed to stop using them in 2015, Seoul has, on several occasions, opted for loudspeakers as a tool to respond to North Korea’s nuclear threats, including the time when a North Korean soldier was shot by his compatriots during his attempt to defect to the South.

This decision came after Pyongyang announced on April 21 that it would stop conducting nuclear tests and intercontinental missile launches, marking a significant step before the planned summits between Kim Jong-un and the leaders of South Korea and the US.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet with the North Korean leader on April 27 in the village of Panmunjom, located on the southern side of the inter-Korean border.

This will mark the first meeting between the leaders of both countries in 11 years.

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Representatives of Seoul and Pyongyang are planning to hold a third working-level meeting to finalise the summit’s security details, protocols, and media coverage.

About one month after the historic inter-Korean talk, a US-North Korea leader summit is due to take place, which will be the first ever encounter between Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump, but its venue and exact dates have yet to be determined.

–IANS

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