August 26, 2015 10:24
Military authorities here stopped loudspeaker broadcasts at all 11 points on the inter-Korean border frontline at noon on Tuesday.
The move follows an agreement reached at the latest cross-border high-level talks.
However, the military will not remove the loudspeakers, but keep them ready to resume broadcasts in case the North carries out further provocation.
"It's important to have confirmed through the latest incident what an Achilles tendon the loudspeaker broadcasts are for the North," a military source said. "Although we suspended the loudspeaker campaign according to the agreement, we could use them as strategic weapons any time."
The agreement states the loudspeakers will stay silent except in an "an abnormal situation," but it is not clear what that would mean.
In a press briefing, presidential national security adviser Kim Kwan-jin said, "The North's goal was to stop the loudspeaker campaign. We were able to attach the proviso 'unless an abnormal situation happens' to prevent any possible provocation."
The loudspeaker campaign resumed earlier this month after two South Korean soldiers were maimed by box mines the North had planted along their patrol route in the demilitarized zone.
Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo also said, "We've secured a mechanism to prevent the recurrence of a similar provocation from the North."
There are fears that the North is preparing to test another long-range missile to mark the 70th anniversary of the Workers Party in October.
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