By Ryan Pickrell
South Korea is apparently dismantling the loudspeakers at the border it uses to broadcast into North Korea.
South Korea has been blasting everything from Korean pop music to news reports into North Korea since the loudspeakers were set up in 1960s, according to the BBC. North Korea has, in turn, blared propaganda over the border. The loudspeakers have long been considered a kind of psychological warfare. South Korea, which had already turned off the loudspeakers prior to last Friday’s summit, reportedly began taking apart the devices Tuesday.
North Korea is apparently doing the same on its side of the border.
North Korea, a country that maintains tight control over the information its people receive, is not a fan of the loudspeakers, according to former American intelligence officials.
“We don’t capitalize on our great weapon, which is information. And, that’s something they worry about a lot and their reaction to the loudspeakers being activated along the DMZ or the dropping of leaflets by NGOs over North Korea,” former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper explained at a talk toward the end of 2016. “They go to nuts when that happens. So that is a great vulnerability I don’t think we’ve exploited.”
Seoul has apparently requested that NGOs stop sending balloons filled with leaflets into North Korea.
After North Korea opted for diplomacy at the start of the year, the two Koreas reportedly turned down the loudspeakers. North Korea, in particular, changed the music played, switching from propaganda and military marches to choral and folk music.
The latest move follows a landmark inter-Korean summit, during which North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met South Korean President Moon Jae-in for the first time. The two agreed to pursue lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
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