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(LEAD) S. Korea halts propaganda broadcasts along border with N. Korea: ministry

All Headlines 09:23 April 23, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with details)

SEOUL, April 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea announced Monday that it has stopped propaganda broadcasts over the border ahead of inter-Korean summit talks this week, saying it's expected to help boost the reconciliatory mood on the peninsula.

"The Ministry of National Defense halted the loudspeaker broadcasts against North Korea in the vicinity of the military demarcation line (MDL) at the start of Monday," the ministry said in a statement.

It's aimed at "reducing military tensions between the South and North and creating the mood of peaceful talks" on the occasion of the summit talks, the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement. The talks are scheduled to take place at the truce village of Panmunjom on Friday.

The ministry expressed hope that the measure will lead to the suspension of criticism and propaganda activities between the two Koreas.

The move is apparently an answer to Pyongyang's recent peace gestures, including the weekend announcement of the decisions to shut down its nuclear test facilities in Punggye-ri and suspend nuclear tests and long-range missile launches.

The South began anti-Pyongyang broadcasts using high-decibel loudspeakers in 1963. There are dozens of sets of loudspeakers along the border, with the North blaring its own propaganda messages across the border as well.

The two sides halted the broadcasts in 2015 in a deal at high-level talks with the North, but Seoul resumed the loudspeaker campaign in January 2016 in response to the North's fourth nuclear test.


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