South Korea to Resume Propaganda Broadcasts to Punish Kim
South Korea will resume the propaganda broadcasts that previously led the Kim Jong Un regime to threaten war, in order to punish North Korea for conducting a fourth nuclear test.
South Korea said it would respond “sternly” to any North Korean provocation in announcing Thursday a resumption of the broadcasts that led North Korea to mobilize troops in August before marathon talks managed to ratchet down tensions.
They give North Koreans a rare glimpse of the contrasting economic and social realities between the two countries and are reviled by the Kim regime. Broadcasting will begin Friday, coinciding with Kim’s birthday.
“North Korea may react in an ultra-strong way to this decision by South Korea, viewing it as an act of ruining a national party,” said Cheong Seong Chang, a senior researcher at the Sejong Institute near Seoul by text message, Bloomberg reported.
The decision on the broadcasts came after US President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun Hye held a phone call and pledged to “forge a united and strong international response” to North Korea’s “reckless behavior” for its test on Wednesday of what the regime claimed was a hydrogen bomb.
The US is also considering sending additional military hardware, which could include B-52 bombers, F-22 fighter jets or a nuclear submarine, to South Korea, where 28,500 US troops are already deployed.
For South Korea, the broadcasts are the most effective way to get Kim’s attention. Blasted from 30-foot tall banks of loudspeakers across the border, they can penetrate more than 15 miles into North Korea. The broadcasts don’t attack the regime directly, but reveal the comparative wealth and freedom of the South through a mix of music — including slick K-pop tunes — commercials for consumer goods and reports on economic conditions in the two countries.