April 24, 2018 09:41
The Defense Ministry turned off anti-communist propaganda broadcast speakers along the border with North Korea at midnight on Monday.
The move came two days after North Korea announced it would halt all nuclear and missile tests as well as closing down its nuclear test site in Punggye-ri.
"We decided to turn off the broadcasts to ease tensions and create a peaceful atmosphere" ahead of the inter-Korean summit on Friday, a ministry spokesman said. "The decision was made at the Defense Ministry's discretion and we did not inform North Korea in advance."
North Korea also apparently halted its own tinny propaganda broadcasts on its side of the border.
The sound systems along the border were seen as an effective means of psychological warfare and a steady thorn in the side of the North Korean regime.
Several North Korean defectors, including a soldier who crossed the mine-laden demilitarized zone last June, said in debriefing that the broadcasts played a role in their decision to escape. That is why North Korea has kept asking for a halt of the broadcasts whenever the chance arises.
The first propaganda broadcasts started in 1963, and they were halted more than five times so far when various kinds of rapprochement took place, only to resume when the North launched fresh provocations.
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