Christmas Tree to Twinkle Over Inter-Korean Border Again

South Korea will light up a giant Christmas tree overlooking the heavily armed border with North Korea for the second year running. A government official on Wednesday said the Defense Ministry received a request from Christian groups to illuminate the Christmas tree on Aegibong peak and asked for approval from Cheong Wa Dae.

The steel tree will be illuminated from about a week over Christmas since no government agency opposes the move, the official added.

A Unification Ministry official said Minister Yu Woo-ik maintains his more “flexible” approach to the North, but this has nothing to do with the Christmas tree.

The steel structure on Aegibong peak, only 3 km from North Korea, was illuminated from Dec. 21 to Jan. 8 last year. In high-level military talks between the two Koreas in 2004, the two countries agreed to end propaganda activities along the border, of which the Christmas tree forms a part, but after North Korea's shelling of Yeonpyeong island last year, it was lit up again.

North Korea's official Rodong Sinmun daily has already denounced the un-Socialist illumination and said, "The psychological warfare activities of the puppet regime have entered full swing."

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 01, 2011 11:31 KST