S.Korea Undeterred by N.Korean Threat Over Border Christmas Trees

South Korea will light up three giant Christmas trees along the North Korean border despite vociferous protests from Pyongyang.

A government official said on Sunday that at the request of evangelical organizations, the government decided to illuminate steel Christmas structures at Aegibong Peak in Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province and near two observatory platforms on the central and eastern frontlines.

The steel Christmas trees, which will be well visible from North Korea, will be lit up from Dec. 23 to Jan. 6.

The military switched on the tree on Aegibong Peak last year for the first time in seven years.

A military officer said, "Originally, the military evangelical association wanted us to set up Christmas trees in about a dozen occasions, but we thought about it and settled on just three." The strictly atheist North Korean regime considers them a pernicious propaganda tool.

A North Korean propaganda website on Sunday warned of "unexpected consequences" if they are lit up amid strained relations.

In December last year, the North threatened to fire at and destroy the Aegibong Peak treat but took no action. Nonetheless the military is taking precautions by sending reinforcements to the area and build protective walls.

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 12, 2011 10:01 KST