South Korea insists on border broadcasts

North Korea threatens to use force to stop broadcasts, escalating tensions on Korean Peninsula

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

In 2010, South Korea restarted radio broadcasts and restored 11 loudspeakers as part of punitive measures taken after a warship sunk in an incident blamed on North Korea

A second night of high-level talks between South and North Korea to resolve escalating tensions were convened on Sunday.

Both country's militaries are on alert after a short exchange of artillery fire at the border on Thursday. As a result, High level officials from North and South Korea met on Saturday at the Panmunjom truce village, just south of the demilitarised zone separating the two nations, in a bid to ease tensions after North Korea threatened war over the cross-border propaganda broadcasts, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.  

"We need a clear apology and measures to prevent a recurrence of these provocations and tense situations," said South Korea's President Park Geun-hye, according to a statement released by her office.

"Otherwise, this government will take appropriate steps and continue loudspeaker broadcasts."


North Korea prepares for war

On Friday North Korea ordered its troops to be "on a war footing".  

North Korea's Foreign Ministry warned early on Saturday that "the situation which has reached the brink of war is now hardly controllable."  

It added that North Korea is "prepared to risk an all-out war not just to simply respond or retaliate, but to defend the system our people chose."   

President Park stated that South Korean authorities have no intention of removing the loudspeakers and on Friday she appeared on television telling top military commanders that further North Korean provocations "will not be tolerated."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is closely watching the current dispute and calling for restraint from both sides to avoid further escalation.

The most recent direct attack on the South by Northern forces was in November 2010 when they shelled the South’s border island of Yeonpyeong, in an incident which claimed the lives of two civilians and two soldiers.

TRTWorld and agencies