Two Korea start to dismantle border speakers, fulfilling summit pledge

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The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) began removing propaganda loudspeakers from the border area with the Republic of Korea (ROK) in a bid to enforce the Panmunjom Declaration which was announced after the inter-Korean summit last week, local media reported Tuesday citing the ROK’s military.

The moves are the first practical, if small, steps toward reconciliation after Friday’s meeting between ROK President Moon Jae-in and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un.

Border loudspeakers removed

An unidentified ROK military official was quoted by local media as saying DPRK operatives were spotted earlier in the day removing loudspeakers from the frontline.

The DPRK is reported to have operated about 40 fixed loudspeakers along the heavily fortified inter-Korean border as part of its psychological warfare against the ROK.

The ROK’s soldiers take down a propaganda loudspeakers on the border with the DPRK on May 1, 2018 in Paju, ROK. /VCG Photo

The ROK’s military planned to remove them by 2 p.m. local time (0500 GMT).

The ROK’s anti-DPRK broadcasts through the loudspeakers was already stopped on April 23 ahead of the summit between Moon and Kim on April 27.

Ask UN to verify

Moon, meanwhile asked that the United Nations help verify the DPRK’s planned shutdown of its Punggye-ri nuclear test site in a phone conversation on Tuesday with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, a statement from the presidential Blue House said.

Kim Eui-kyeom, spokesman for Moon, told a press briefing that Moon had a phone conversation with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for half an hour from 11:30 a.m. local time (0230 GMT) to exchange opinions about the result of the third inter-Korean summit last week.

Moon told Guterres that Kim promised to make the closedown of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site transparent to the ROK and the United States as well as to the international society.

South Korean soldiers take down a propaganda loudspeakers on the border with North Korea on May 1, 2018 in Paju, South Korea.

The ROK’s president asked the UN chief to allow UN officials to participate in the shutdown to observe and confirm it.

In response, Guterres said he was willing to cooperate in the process, noting that though Moon’s calls require the approval from UN Security Council, he will make efforts to help settle peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The UN chief added that he will appoint a UN official in charge of arms reduction to cooperate with the ROK.

Moon also asked Guterres to issue a statement welcoming and supporting the Panmunjom Declaration by the UN General Assembly or the UN Security Council, saying the UN support will be a great help to improved inter-Korean relations and the success of the upcoming DPRK-US summit.

Source(s): Reuters, Xinhua News Agency