S.Korea to Switch DMZ Christmas Tree Back On

      December 20, 2010 11:42

      A ceremony is held to switch on a steel Christmas tree at Aegibong Peak on the western frontline in December, 2001 (file photo).

      The military has decided to switch on a giant steel Christmas tree at Aegibong Peak on the western frontline for the first time in seven years, amid fears that the North is getting ready to shoot at the contraption.

      "We've recently detected signs of the North Korean military watching the steel tree" at the mouth of the Han River in Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province "as if they are preparing to shoot at it," a government source said Sunday.

      About a dozen North Korean officers and soldiers at a time have lined up to watch the steel tree through binoculars as South Korean personnel prepared to switch it on.

      The structure was turned off when top brass from the two Koreas agreed to stop propaganda activities along the military demarcation line in June 2004. But in the wake of the North's sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan in March and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23, the military decided to resume their operation as part of psychological warfare.

      The steel Christmas tree is intact and is expected to be switched on Tuesday. The military suspects that North Korean soldiers will take pot shots at the tower with their rifles once that happens.

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