SEOUL, Revived propaganda broadcasts across the border between North and South Korea are stoking tensions between the two countries.
South Korea had originally halted the broadcasts in August after the two countries reached an agreement to diffuse tensions. But since then, two South Korean soldiers were maimed by landmine attacks. On top of that, South Korea joins the global backlash against North Korea in response to the North’s purported test of a hydrogen bomb.
Officials say the irregularly scheduled broadcasts reach 6 miles into the North during the day, and 15 miles at night. They consist of anti-North Korean messages read by an announcer, but also pop music and news. The latter gives North Korea’s residents — who are largely cut off from the rest of the world — a glimpse of life outside the impoverished nation.
Worker’s Party Secretary Kim Ki Nam said the South was jealous of the North’s successful hydrogen bomb test.
“Jealous of the successful test of our first H-bomb, the U.S. and its followers are driving the situation to the brink of war, by saying they have resumed psychological broadcasts and brought in strategic bombers,” Kim said on state TV Friday.
Yonhap reported the South has no plans to halt the broadcasts, and sees no threat of military action from the North.
“We are continuing the broadcast at 10 spots on the border Saturday,” a military official told the news agency. “We have not yet identified special moves by the North Korean army.”
The United States is working with Seoul to build international support to punish Pyongyang for this week’s test.
By Ann Marie Awad