After Balloon Battle, S. Korea Says North Is Setting Up Speakers

Says North Korea is installing its own propaganda loudspeakers along the border
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 10, 2024 6:21 AM CDT
After Balloon Battle, S. Korea Says North Is Setting Up Speakers
A worker dismantles loudspeakers set up for propaganda broadcasts in Paju, South Korea, on May 1, 2018.   (Kim Hong-Ji/Pool Photo via AP, File)

South Korea's military on Monday said it's detecting signs that North Korea is installing its own loudspeakers along their heavily armed border, a day after the South blared anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts for the first time in years as the rivals engage in Cold War-style psychological warfare. The South's resumption of its broadcasts on Sunday was in retaliation for the North sending more than 1,000 balloons filled with trash and manure over the last few weeks. North Korea has described its balloon campaign as a response to South Korean civilian groups using balloons to send anti-North Korean propaganda leaflets across the border. Pyongyang has long condemned such activities, as it's extremely sensitive to any outside criticism of leader Kim Jong Un's authoritarian rule, per the AP.

The tit for tat over speakers and balloons has deepened tensions between the Koreas as talks over the North's nuclear ambitions remain stalled. In their latest nuclear planning talks in Seoul, US and South Korean officials reviewed an undisclosed guideline mapping out their nuclear deterrence strategies to counter growing North Korean threats. They also discussed strengthening the allies' combined military training involving strategic US assets, the participants said in a news conference. Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff didn't immediately comment on the number of suspected North Korean speakers or where along the border they were spotted being installed. It said the speakers were still silent as of Monday afternoon.

South Korea on Sunday activated its loudspeakers for an initial broadcast into North Korea, which reportedly included news, criticism of North Korea's government, and South Korean pop music. Hours later on Sunday, Kim's powerful sister warned that the South created a "prelude to a very dangerous situation." She said South Korea would witness an unspecified "new response" from the North if it continues with the broadcasts and fails to stop civilian activists from flying anti-North Korean propaganda leaflets across the border. "I sternly warn Seoul to immediately [cease] its dangerous activities that would further provoke a crisis of confrontation," Kim Yo Jong said. More here.

(More North Korea stories.)

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