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(LEAD) N. Korea seen removing loudspeakers from border areas: sources

All News 10:59 June 24, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more details in paras 2-7, photo)
By Oh Seok-min

SEOUL, June 24 (Yonhap) -- North Korea was seen removing about 10 propaganda loudspeakers reinstalled recently along the border with South Korea, military sources said Wednesday, after leader Kim Jong-un ordered the suspension of military action plans against the South.

The North recently set up around 20 loudspeakers in border areas after threatening to take military action against what it called "the enemy" in anger over Seoul's failure to stop defectors from sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets across the border.

"Around 10 newly installed loudspeakers near Cheorwon were being taken down from earlier today," a military source said.

The move came after the communist country decided to suspend military action against South Korea during a Central Military Commission meeting presided over by leader Kim, according to the North's Korean Central News Agency.

"We are closely monitoring North Korean military moves while maintaining a firm readiness posture," an official of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said, noting that the suspension decision was made during the "preliminary" meeting.

Last week, the North blew up the inter-Korean liaison office in its border town of Kaesong in a dramatic expression of anger at the South. The North then warned of a series of military actions, such as the forward deployment of its troops to Kaesong and the Mount Kumgang tourist area on the east coast and opening border areas for scattering anti-South leaflets.

In 2018, South and North Korea dismantled around 40 loudspeakers each from their border regions, as they agreed to halt all hostile acts against each other and eliminate their means, including broadcasting through loudspeakers and the distribution of leaflets, in accordance with the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration signed by President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim.

A propaganda loudspeaker is seen near a North Korean guard post inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), in this photo taken from the South Korean border city of Paju, 30 kilometers north of Seoul, on June 23, 2020. Pyongyang began to reinstall the loudspeakers on June 21, citing anti-Pyongyang leaflets recently sent into the North by defectors. The Koreas had removed their loudspeakers from the DMZ in adherence with the Panmunjom Declaration on April 27, 2018. (Yonhap)

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