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Monday, August 10, 2015, 17:46

ROK restarts propaganda broadcasts to DPRK

By Associated Press

 ROK restarts propaganda broadcasts to DPRK

SEOUL, ROK — The Republic of Korea (ROK) restarted propaganda broadcasts across the border with the Democratic People's Reoublic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday for the first time in 11 years in retaliation for Pyongyang allegedly planting land mines last week that maimed two ROK soldiers.

The anti-DPRK broadcasts over loudspeakers aimed across the world's most heavily armed border are sure to worsen already bad ties between the Koreas as the DPRK is extremely sensitive to any criticism of the leadership of Kim Jong-un.

ROK's military earlier Monday promised unspecified "searing" consequences for the mine blasts last week in the Seoul-controlled southern part of the Demilitarized Zone that has bisected the Korean Peninsula since the end of fighting in the Korean War in 1953. ROK's military said the broadcasts planned Monday are only part of its response. It was unclear when the broadcasts would start or how long they would continue.

The US-led UN Command also conducted an investigation that blamed DPRK for the mines. It condemned what it called violations of the armistice that ended fighting in the war, which still technically continues because the participants have yet to sign a peace treaty.

 ROK restarts propaganda broadcasts to DPRK
In this Aug 9, 2015, photo provided by the Defense Ministry, ROK army soldiers patrol near the scene of a blast inside the demilitarized zone in Paju, ROK. (The Defense Ministry via AP)

The soldiers were on a routine patrol near a wire fence in the southern side of the border when the explosions happened. One of the soldiers lost both legs, while the other lost one leg.

In 2004, the two Koreas stopped the decadeslong practice of propaganda warfare along the border to reduce tension. The practice had included loudspeaker and radio broadcasts, billboards and leaflets.

In 2010, ROK restarted radio broadcasts and restored 11 loudspeakers as part of punitive measures taken after a warship sinking blamed on DPRK that killed 46 South Korean sailors earlier that year. But ROK didn't go ahead with plans to resume loudspeaker broadcasts at the time.

ROK conducted loudspeaker broadcasts on Monday in the western and center portions of the border, said Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok. He said the broadcasts emphasized that the mine explosions were a provocation by the DPRK.

A border line runs through the middle of the 4-kilometer DMZ, which is jointly overseen by the UN Command and DPRK. ROK troops patrol the southern part of the buffer zone.


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