All quiet on the southern front.
For years, while North Korea blasts propaganda about the joys of communism and the terrors of capitalism, the high-decibel loudspeakers on the South Korean side of the border have been blaring K-pop music into the demilitarized zone. But yesterday, ahead of a summit between the divided nations on Friday, the loudspeakers have fallen silent as South Korea ceases its sonic assault.
“The Ministry Of National Defense halted the loudspeaker broadcasts against North Korea in the vicinity of the military demarcation line,” the ministry said in a statement. The move is aimed at “reducing military tensions between the South and North and creating a mood for peaceful talks” later this week.
Although South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo did not formally notify North Korea of the decision, USA Today reports that North Korea has also begun silencing its loudspeakers along the border in response.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in is set to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un on Friday on the southern side of the border village Panmunjom. This will be only the third top-level summit between the two countries following meetings in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007.
In addition to K-pop, South Korea’s loudspeakers broadcast messages denouncing hunger and human rights violations in the North and emphasizing the high standard of living in the South in hopes of convincing soldiers to defect.