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Conflicts: South Korea decides to broadcast propaganda to North Korea

Conflicts: South Korea decides to broadcast propaganda to North Korea

For years, South Korea and North Korea have bombarded each other with propaganda broadcasts over loudspeakers at the border. Now South Korea is resorting to old methods of psychological warfare again.

Against the backdrop of growing tensions with North Korea, South Korea has decided to take measures for psychological warfare and wants to resume broadcasting propaganda to its isolated neighbour. The military will set up loudspeakers at the border again on Sunday and begin making announcements towards North Korea, the presidential office in Seoul announced after an emergency meeting of the National Security Council.

With this measure, South Korea is responding directly to North Korea sending hundreds of balloons filled with garbage across the heavily militarized border. For years, South Korea had broadcast loud pop music or criticism of the leadership in Pyongyang across the border. The range of the sound systems was more than 20 kilometers.

According to a statement, participants in the Security Council meeting accused North Korea of ​​trying to cause unrest and confusion in South Korean society with its behavior. South Korea will therefore respond to the balloon actions with appropriate measures. “We make it clear that the responsibility for any escalation of tensions between the two states lies entirely with North Korea,” it said.

Sound reinforcement was also considered a relic of the Cold War era

After a summit meeting six years ago between then South Korean President Moon Jae In and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, loudspeaker systems on both sides of the border were removed. The mutual sound system was also seen as a relic of the Cold War era.

South Korea recently suspended a 2018 bilateral military agreement on confidence-building measures at the border, paving the way for military exercises near the military demarcation line and the resumption of public address systems, among other things. North Korea, which accuses South Korea of ​​hostility, had already declared the agreement terminated last November. It was initially unclear whether the one-party state would also resume loudspeaker propaganda.

North Korea had once again sent numerous balloons with plastic bags full of garbage. Between Saturday and Sunday morning, around 330 “garbage balloons” were launched from North Korea, the General Staff in Seoul announced. More than 80 of them landed on South Korean territory. The rest probably did not reach their destination. The bags attached to them contained waste paper and plastic, among other things. Initial investigations have shown that they did not contain any dangerous substances, it was said.

North Korea’s balloon actions in response

North Korea’s balloon campaigns are a reaction to the activities of South Korean groups that repeatedly send leaflets and other propaganda material across the border using huge gas balloons. In the leaflets, they criticize the leadership in Pyongyang. The actions of the groups, some of which were founded by North Korean refugees, are controversial in South Korea.

According to South Korean media reports, two different groups carried out such leaflet campaigns on Thursday and Friday. Pyongyang is usually sensitive to propaganda from outside. Since the end of May, North Korea has already sent more than 1,000 balloons filled with waste products and some with liquid manure to South Korea. South Korea also accused its neighbor of having carried out several jamming attacks on the GPS navigation system in the border region.

After a period of de-escalation, the conflict on the Korean peninsula has become significantly more explosive again in the recent past. Since the beginning of 2022, North Korea has been increasingly testing nuclear-capable missiles and other weapons. South Korea and the USA have expanded their military cooperation.

Source: Stern

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