Koreas dismantle propaganda loudspeakers along border

SEOUL, South Korea — The rival Koreas dismantled huge Cold War-era loudspeakers used to blare propaganda across their tense border on Tuesday, as South Korea’s president asked the United Nations to observe the North’s planned closing of its nuclear test site.

The dismantling of dozens of loudspeakers was in line with an agreement on reconciliation by the leaders of the Koreas at their historic summit last Friday. It is still unclear if such measures can bring permanent peace because no major breakthrough in the North Korean nuclear standoff was produced at the summit.

South Korean soldiers disassembled loudspeakers in multiple front-line areas in the presence of journalists before pulling them away from the border, the Defense Ministry said.

A South Korea military officer said later Tuesday that North Korea had also begun taking down its propaganda loudspeakers earlier in the day. He requested anonymity, citing department rules.

Both Koreas had turned off the propaganda broadcasts along the 248-kilometer (154-mile) -long border last week before the summit.

 

They had restarted their propaganda warfare in early 2016 when tensions rose sharply after North Korea’s fourth nuclear test. South Korea broadcast K-pop songs as well as criticism of the North’s abysmal human rights conditions, world news and weather forecasts. The North broadcast anti-South messages and praises of its own political system.

North Korea is extremely sensitive to any outside criticism of its system, and most of its 24 million people are not allowed access to foreign TV and radio programs. In 2014, North Korean soldiers opened fire after South Korean activists sent anti-North leaflets over the border with large balloons, prompting South Korea to return fire. There were no reports of casualties.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has suspended nuclear and missile tests and placed his nuclear program up for negotiation, but skepticism lingers about how serious his offer is and what disarmament steps he would eventually take. Some experts say Kim’s sincerity will be tested during his planned meeting in several weeks with U.S. President Donald Trump, in what would be the first North Korea-U.S. summit talks since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Trump said Monday he likes the idea of going to the southern side of Panmunjom, the location of the Korean summit, to meet Kim, though he said Singapore was also under consideration.

During Friday’s summit, Kim told South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he would shut down his country’s only known nuclear test site and allow outside experts and journalists to watch the process. He also said he would be willing to give up his nuclear programs if the United States commits to a formal end to the Korean War and pledges not to attack the North, according to South Korea’s presidential office.

During a telephone call with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday, Moon said he wants the U.N. to observe the closure of the Punggy-ri test site. Moon also asked the U.N. to formally declare its support for his summit declaration with Kim. Guterres responded that he will try to contribute to the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula, according to Moon’s office.

Some experts downplayed the closure of the Punggy-ri site, saying the six underground nuclear explosions that have been conducted there may have made it too unstable for more testing. Kim denied such views, saying the site has two additional underground tunnels that could be used for new tests.

A major source of outside suspicion about Kim’s sincerity is his use of the term, “the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” instead of “the denuclearization of North Korea.” North Korea has long used the first term, and has argued it can disarm only when the United States withdraws its 28,500 troops from South Korea and removes its so-called “nuclear umbrella” security commitment to South Korea and Japan.

A joint summit statement issued by Kim and Moon said they will work together to achieve “a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearization.”

It was the first time that Kim has proposed negotiating away his nuclear weapons, and some analysts say he could reveal more substantial disarmament measures in his meeting with Trump, including the possible scrapping of his long-range missile program that has posed a direct threat to the United States.

Prospects for the Kim-Trump talks remain unclear because Kim prefers a gradual, step-by-step disarmament process in return for corresponding rewards, while the United States wants complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.

On Monday, Moon shook off a suggestion that he receive the Nobel Peace Prize for reducing tensions with North Korea, saying Trump “can take the Nobel prize” as long as the Koreas receive peace in return.

News Videos
Henderson fails to investigate the drug overdose death of one of its officers
Henderson Police Department's internal affairs did not investigate the 2014 drug overdose death of an officer. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Syphilis Awareness Day
Dr. Joe Iser, District Health Officer of the Southern Nevada Health District, discusses the effects and issues with syphilis in the Las Vegas community on April 16, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas diocese IDs 33 ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse
The Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas released a list on Friday of 33 “credibly accused” of sexual abuse who at some point served in the Las Vegas Valley. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CCSD Arbor View meeting
The Clark County School Board hears from the public about racial tensions at Arbor View High School on Thursday, April 11, 2019. (Amelia Park-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Parents of autistic student battle Clark County School District
Joshua and Britten Wahrer, parents of a special education student, are battling the Clark County School District for the right to equip their son with a monitoring device. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Metro homeless outreach a shift in strategy
Lt. Joe Sobrio discusses the new homeless outreach team for Metro. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Prayer for Opportunity Scholarships
Las Vegas students and adults hold a prayer meeting about the Opportunity Scholarship program on Thursday, April 4, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Solar scams on the rise in Nevada
As Nevada’s solar industry has made a resurgence, solar scammers have followed suit.
Clark County schools and the late bus issue
Year after year, late or no-show buses in the Clark County School District draw the ire of parents and students alike. One year the problem even prompted a parent to crack a school bus window in frustration over a late drop-off. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
I-15 southbound congested near Primm Sunday afternoon
Drivers heading toward California on Interstate 15 should expect heavy traffic and a 13-mile backup Sunday afternoon.
Learning lifesaving skills in advance of fire season
Students and firefighters attend a training session at Fire Station 80 in Blue Diamond, Saturday, March 30, 2019. The training session helps volunteer firefighters obtain necessary annual certification to work wild fires.
Car restoration behind prison walls
Inmates share their experiences working for the Southern Desert Correctional Center auto body shop in Indian Springs while learning valuable skills.
Parent remembers Las Vegas boy killed by car
People visit a memorial at the intersection of South Fort Apache Road and West Arby Avenue at at Faiss Park Wednesday, March 27, 2019, where Jonathan Smith, 12, of Las Vegas, died after he was struck while crossing Fort Apache Monday. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Couple left with surprise medical bills after visit to the hospital
Michael Pistiner took his wife, Marta Menendez-Pistiner, to the ER in January after she fainted twice and appeared to be having a seizure. Despite paying $856 monthly for health insurance, the two, self-employed musicians, were stuck with more than $5,700 in hospital and doctor bills after than hour-and-a-half visit. Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Las Vegas police brief the media on fatal crash
Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Nick Farese addresses the media about a car accident at South Fort Apache Road and West Arby Avenue that left one minor dead and one hospitalized on Monday, March 25, 2019. (Mike Shoro/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Arbor View parent talks about racial issues at the school
Lawanna Calhoun, a former Arbor View parent, talks about the state of the school. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jim Foley talks about 30 years of living HIV-positive
Jim Foley, who was diagnosed as HIV positive 30 years ago, talks at his home in Las Vegas on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Traffic Slows to a Crawl on I-15S Near Primm
Traffic slowed to a crawl around 2:30p Sunday, on I-15S near Primm, Nevada.
Homeless residents speak about safety
The homeless residents living at the corner of Owens Ave. and Main St. reflect on how they feel about their safety after two homeless men died, one was hit crossing the street and another was beat to death by another homeless man. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
CCSD Superintendent address alleged racially motivated threats at Arbor View
CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara gives update on alleged racially motivated threats against Arbor View High School, and says such threats will not be tolerated. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Super Bloom Near Lake Elsinore, California
Crowds packed the hills near Lake Elsinore on Saturday to capture a rare selfie amidst the super bloom of poppies turning the landscape purple. The super bloom was caused by the larger rainfall this year. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fiery accident in Las Vegas
A three-car accident on Spring Mountain Road around 6:30 pm on Monday night
A bipartisan coalition holds simultaneous rallies to promote criminal justice
A bipartisan coalition holds simultaneous rallies to promote criminal justice. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Stardust implosion anniversary
Twelve years ago today, the Stardust Resort and Casino was imploded. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Lawsuits filed against security contractors at Nevada National Security Site
Two lawsuits were filed today against the current and former government security contractors for the Nevada National Security Site, one on behalf of Jennifer Glover who alleges sexual discrimination and assault and the other on behalf of Gus Redding who alleges retaliation after he gave statements supporting Glover’s claims. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New housing option helps Las Vegas moms keep kids while kicking drugs
WestCare Nevada Women and Children’s Campus in Las Vegas has added a new transitional housing wing for women who have completed the inpatient treatment at the behavioral health nonprofit to help them as they go through outpatient treatment, shore up their finances and prepare to secure long-term housing. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Teenager in critical condition after being struck by an SUV in Henderson
Authorities were called about 2:45 p.m. to the scene in the 2100 block of Olympic Avenue, near Green Valley Parkway and Sunset Road. The teenager was taken to University Medical Center in critical condition. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Water Question Part 3: Conservation loves a crisis
Future growth in the Las Vegas Valley will rest almost entirely on the community’s ability to conserve its finite share of the Colorado River.
The Water Question Part 7: How much can we grow?
Many experts agree that Southern Nevada can continue to grow, so long as residents are willing to do what needs to be done to stretch our crucial resource as far as it will go.
The Water Question Part 6: How many people can Southern Nevada’s water sustain?
The number can swing wildly depending on a host of variables, including the community’s rates of growth, conservation efforts and the severity of drought on the Colorado River.
TOP NEWS
Home Front Page Footer Listing