South Korea to remove loudspeakers along border with North Korea

US President Donald Trump says he'd like his planned meeting with Kim Jong Un to take place in the Korean demilitarized zone, as North and South Korea begin dismantling loudspeakers used to blast propaganda across the border for decades.
South Korea said that it would remove loudspeakers that blared propaganda across the border shared with North Korea.
South Korea said that it would remove loudspeakers that blared propaganda across the border shared with North Korea. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SEOUL (XINHUA, REUTERS) - South Korea’s defence ministry said on Monday (April 30) that it will remove propaganda loudspeakers along the border with North Korea in a bid to enforce the agreement reached after the inter-Korea summit last week.

As part of the follow-up measures to the Panmunjom Declaration, South Korea’s military will pull back loudspeaker facilities in areas near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL), which were used for anti-North Kroea broadcasting, beginning on Tuesday (May 1), according to the Ministry of National Defence.

"We see this as the easiest first step to build military trust," South Korean defence ministry spokesman Choi Hyun Soo said.

"We are expecting the North's implementation."

The ministry said it was part of acts to implement the Panmunjom Declaration which said the two Koreas would stop all hostile acts, including the loudspeaker broadcasting against each other and the distribution of leaflets, and pull back tools for the hostile acts near the MDL.

 
 

The declaration was made last Friday by South Korean President Moon Jae In and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after the third inter-Korea summit at the border village of Panmunjom.

The two leaders agreed to realise a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearisation and turn the current armistice agreement into a peace treaty by the end of this year.

The peninsula remains technically at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended with armistice.

Mr Moon and Mr Kim agreed to change the 4km-wide Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), currently filled with razor-blade fences, mines, watchtowers, tank traps and hundreds of thousands of combat-ready troops, into an actual peace zone.

Ahead of the Moon-Kim summit, the South Korean military stopped blaring anti-North Korea broadcasts via loudspeakers for a successful summit. The North allegedly stopped its propaganda broadcasting towards the South Korea.

The two Koreas agreed to hold a general-level military dialogue within May.

Psychological warfare through anti-North Korea broadcasts was launched in 1963, and it had been resumed and stopped in accordance with security situations on the Korean Peninsula.

Under then South Korean president Roh Moo Hyun, the two Koreas agreed in 2004 to stop the broadcast and remove loudspeakers.

It was resumed in 2016 under then president Park Geun Hye in response to Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test in January of the year.