South Korea on Monday said it had stopped propaganda broadcasts across the border into North Korea, ahead of summit talks with Pyongyang later this week. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will visit South Korea for talks with President Moon Jae-in on April 27.
The broadcasts, played through loudspeakers, consist of news reports critical of North Korea, as well as pop music, BBC reported. North Korea has its own reciprocal system of broadcasts.
“The Ministry of National Defense halted the loudspeaker broadcasts against North Korea in the vicinity of the military demarcation line,” the ministry said in a statement according to The Korea Times. The move is aimed at “reducing military tensions between the South and North and creating the mood of peaceful talks,” the ministry added.
“We hope this decision will lead both Koreas to stop mutual criticism and propaganda against each other and also contribute in creating peace and a new beginning,” the ministry said according to Reuters.
South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo made the decision to stop broadcasts on Sunday, but the North Korean military had not yet been informed, unidentified officials told The Korea Times. It is not known whether the North has also stopped its propaganda broadcasts into the South.
The two sides had halted loudspeaker activity across the border after a deal in 2015, but Seoul resumed these broadcasts after Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test in 2016. On Saturday, Kim announced that North Korea would suspend all missile tests and will shut down a nuclear test site.
Kim is also expected to hold a summit with United States President Donald Trump in May or early June.