South Korea turns off speakers blaring propaganda across North Korea border
It's getting exciting but serious. After North Korea declared on Saturday, April 21, that it would suspend its nuclear programme and also shut its site and pursue economic development and peace instead, now South Korea has also come up a decision.
On Monday, April 23, South Korea stopped all its propaganda broadcasts blaring across its northern neighbour in the run-up to the summit of its president Moon Jae-in and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un on April 27. It will be the first Seoul-Pyongyang summit in over 10 years.
Preparations for the ground-breaking summit between the two Koreas who are technically at war since their war in 1950-53 did not end with a peace treaty but an armistice is on with even the US president having blessed it.
The rapprochement between the two Koreas began at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea where athletes from the two Koreas marched under a common flag.
At the official level, too, representatives from both sides have been holding parleys for some time and it would culminate with the Moon-Kim talks next Friday.
Moon said on Monday that North Korea's decision to halt its nuclear programme is a "significant decision" for the Korean Peninsula's complete denuclearisation, Reuters reported.
"It is a green light that raises the chances of positive outcomes at the North's summits with South Korea and the United States. If North Korea goes the path of complete denuclearisation starting from this, then a bright future for North Korea can be guaranteed," the report quoted the leader as saying.
The South Korean speakers blaring messages to the people of North Korea across the border has been a way to provoke the isolationist regime after it refused to stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons. They were being played since January 2016 after Pyongyang conducted its fourth nuclear test. The speakers broadcast Korean pop music, weather forecasts and news and other details of everyday life in South Korea which were not allowed in North.
The speakers were turned off at midnight in an ambience of brotherhood and reconciliation and there was no confirmation whether South would turn them on again after the Kim-Moon talks get over, Reuters added.
Sources in the South Korean defence ministry said the decision would hopefully see the two Koreas halt their mutual criticism and propaganda against each other and strive towards a peaceful future, an Asian Correspondent report said.