North Korea has demanded that the South halt anti-North propaganda broadcasts via loudspeakers along the border or face military action, a day after it denied Seoul’s accusation that it planted landmines that wounded two South Korean soldiers.
Tension on the Korean peninsula has escalated since the landmine explosion last week and as the US and South Korean military prepare to begin annual joint exercises.
South Korea has threatened counter-measures and on Monday began using loudspeakers to blare anti-Pyongyang rhetoric across the border, resuming broadcasts that had been suspended since 2004.
South Korea’s defense minister told parliament Thursday that Seoul would expand the scale of the broadcasts to all frontline bases, and planned to remove trees along the Demilitarised Zone to get a better view.
“The resumption of the broadcasting is a direct action of declaring a war against the DPRK”, said North Korea’s state-run television KRT news reader quoting a statement by the Front Command of the Korean People’s Army.
Failure to halt the broadcasts would result in military action “to blow up all means for ‘anti-north psychological warfare’,” along the front, it warned.
“They should not forget that the KPA military action means indiscriminate strikes which envisage even possible challenge and escalating counteraction,” KRT news reader added.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Seoul would respond to any provocation.
“Provocations and threats only lead to isolation and destruction,” she said during a speech marking the 70th anniversary of the end of Japanese colonial rule on the Korean peninsula.
“But if North Korea chooses the path of dialogue and co-operation, it can grab an opportunity of improvement of livelihood and economic development.”
US and South Korean forces on Monday begin annual joint military exercises, which Pyongyang condemns as a preparation for war.