Border island residents call for pullout of loudspeakers

By Shin Hyon-hee

Residents of a border island in the West Sea have turned in a petition calling for the removal of loudspeakers installed there for anti-Pyongyang broadcasts that sparked a recent exchange of fire between the two Koreas, military officials said Wednesday.

The appeal was made Monday to the Defense Ministry by about 100 people living on Gyodong Island in Ganghwa County, Incheon, located just south of the Northern Limit Line, the skirmish-prone maritime border with North Korea.

“They have apparently been feeling anxious because the North Korean military threatens to shoot down the equipment,” a ministry official said, adding that the agency will come up with a solution taking public safety and the military’s psychological warfare strategy comprehensively into account.

After being pulled out in 2004 as a result of inter-Korean military dialogue, the loudspeakers were reinstalled at 11 places along the Military Demarcation Line following the North’s 2010 fatal attack on the Cheonan corvette, but had remained idle until the South Korean military restarted the broadcasts last month.

The broadcasts, which came in retaliation for the North’s Aug. 4 land mine attack that inflicted serious wounds on two soldiers, prompted the communist regime to launch artillery shells across the border, but again ended after 15 days following high-level inter-Korean dialogue.



The Korea Herald

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