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(News Focus) S. Korea resumes anti-North broadcasts laced with K-pop

All Headlines 19:46 January 08, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 8 (Yonhap) -- In retaliation of North Korea's provocative nuclear test earlier this week, South Korea picked up again the most unmilitary weapon of its choice: K-pop songs to lure front-line North Korean soldiers with the allure of South Korea's colorful pop culture.

South Korea's military switched on loudspeakers along the inter-Korean border earlier in the day, blasting not only propaganda messages critical of the reclusive North Korean regime and its leader Kim Jong-un, but also the hottest K-pop beats.

Seoul resumed the anti-Pyongyang loudspeaker broadcasting after a four-month hiatus in opposition of the communist country's test of what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb on Wednesday.

In the height of inter-Korean military tensions following the North's land-mine and shelling provocations in August, the South restarted the long-time propaganda tactic, eventually sending the two Koreas to strike a breakthrough "Aug. 25" agreement to ease tensions and facilitate talks.

The broadcasting infuriates North Korea where the sacred image of leader Kim Jong-un is kept through the tight control of outside news.

The resumed anti-Pyongyang broadcast will freshly include the latest South Korean pop songs such as "100 years of life," the most-sought-after single of late by Lee Ae-ran.

If death comes to take me, tell him I cannot go because I am too young and have more to do, the song runs.

The catchiness of the song, originally intended for the middle-aged, became a sensational hit across every generation and brought Lee out of her 25 years of obscurity as a singer.

Other songs include girl group Girlfriend's "Me Gustas Tu," a dance track, and A-Pink's "Let Us Just Love," the theme song for the 2011 SBS soap opera "Protect the Boss."

The entertainment part of the anti-North broadcast will also feature a radio drama to be acted out by several voice actors, according to military sources.

The military believes these softer broadcasting contents will be effective in infusing the glitz and glamour of South Korea's world-class pop culture and liberty into young generation North Korea soldiers in the starkly reclusive, controlled society.

A core part of the anti-Pyongyang broadcasts will also encompass outside information on North Korea's human rights violations and the consequence the North's recent nuclear test will bring to the country, according to military sources.

During their broadcasting in August, the anti-North channel criticized Kim's foreign policy, repeatedly pointing to his failure to make a state visit abroad.

"The anti-North broadcasting will not focus on criticism of the North Korean politics only," a military official said. "Inclusion of various soft contents will also help maximize the psychology warfare effect."

The military plans to air the broadcasting for up to six hours on and off throughout the day at 11 points along the tensely-guarded inter-Korean border.

Seoul's resumption of the loudspeaker operation in August was received with North Korea's shelling and military threats.

The military raised its alert level around the loudspeaker areas to the most stringent stage and beefed up combat readiness against potential military actions by the North.


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