June 23, 2020 10:06
North Korea is reinstalling loudspeakers in the demilitarized zone that will blare propaganda across the border, the South Korean military said Monday.
The two sides dismantled their walls of loudhailers after President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met in Panmunjom 2018.
The North Korean equipment was always sub-par and the tinny waffle it broadcast could barely be understood a few hundred meters away, but like its decision to float propaganda leaflets across the border it signals a return to square one and end to any de-escalation agreements.
Yet Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo told the National Assembly’s Defense Committee on Monday that the North's latest demolition of the joint liaison office in Kaesong "has nothing to do with the inter-Korean military agreement of 2018."
Asked whether the blowup signals the scrapping of the de-escalation pact, he said, "Not at all so far."
Asked how the military would react if the North floats propaganda leaflets across the border he said, "There's nothing the military could do about it."
The pact pledges to end government-level psychological warfare, but the North’s recent histrionics were prompted by private activists here floating leaflets into North Korea.
The South Korean military has not reacted so far but it expected to erect its own walls of loudhailers again in due course.
"We've already made it clear that we'll respond reciprocally to repeated threats from the North following the demolition of the liaison office," a senior South Korean military officer said.
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