Propaganda to hinge on Council action

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Propaganda to hinge on Council action

Seoul will delay starting propaganda broadcasts aimed at the North Korean military posted at the inter-Korean border until the UN Security Council decides whether to reprimand Pyongyang for the attack on the Cheonan, military officials in Seoul said yesterday.

On Wednesday, the South’s military finished installing 11 loudspeakers along the border in anticipation of resuming the radio propaganda broadcasts that came to a halt in 2004.

“We completed the first round of loudspeaker installment June 9, but haven’t decided on when to resume the propaganda broadcasts,” said a South Korean military official who asked for anonymity. “We’ll make that decision after seeing what progress is made at the UN Security Council.”

The official said that setting up the loudspeakers is just the first step toward putting pressure on the North’s military, which has threatened to shoot down the loudspeakers if the broadcasts are resumed.

South Korea has asked the Security Council to reprimand the North, which it blames for the torpedo attack in March that left 46 sailors dead. The North has furiously denied involvement, and threatened “all-out war” if it is punished.

South Korean diplomats have been working to persuade their counterparts in Russia and China - permanent council members and North Korea’s key allies - to join the efforts.

South Korea’s top negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Chun Yung-woo, said he had a “very candid and in-depth” exchange of ideas with senior Chinese diplomats during his two-day visit to Beijing that ended Wednesday.


By Chung Yong-soo, Jung Ha-won [hawon@joongang.co.kr]

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