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N. Korea launches loudspeaker campaign at border

All Headlines 17:36 August 17, 2015

SEOUL, Aug. 17 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has restarted its loudspeaker campaign at the border with South Korea, following suit after the South resumed its propaganda warfare last week in retaliation for the North's land mine attacks, a military official said Monday.

"The North Korean military has reopened its loudspeaker broadcasting toward the South alongside part of its eastern front line, the military official said, asking not to be named.

The North Korean broadcasting is apparently in reaction to South Korea's similar loudspeaker campaign at the border launched a week ago in retaliation for the North's detonation of three land mines on the South Korean side of the demilitarized zone.

Two South Korean staff sergeants were maimed in the blast of the mines, which the South said were secretly buried by the North.

The resumption at both sides put an end to an 11-year suspension of the propaganda campaign across the border since the countries agreed to halt the psychological warfare in general-level talks in 2004.

The North Korean loudspeakers bellow propaganda messages, but they are essentially meant to muffle out messages coming from the South Korean side, the official said.

The renewal of the border propaganda war may further escalate military tension between the two Koreas, which are already at odds over Seoul's launch of a large-scale joint military drill with Washington earlier in the day.

Over the weekend, the North threatened to retaliate with "the strongest military counteraction" if the joint Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise is not canceled.

The North has also threatened "indiscriminate shooting attacks" on South Korean loudspeakers if the broadcasting is not scrapped.

South Korea and the U.S. launched the UFG drill earlier in the day despite such military threats, defending it as purely defensive in nature.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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