After South Korea started to once again broadcast propaganda via loudspeaker into neighboring North Korea, the hermit kingdom has threatened to attack the speakers and destroy them.
The speakers began broadcasting anti-Pyongyang propaganda following the injury of two South Korean soldiers by mines which were freshly planted by North Korea on the south side of the border.
The level of brinksmanship looks like it will continue to increase as both sides have vowed not to back down.
Calling the actions a “declaration of war,” and threatening the speakers with destruction, North Korea may have to cope with a possible counterattack by South Korea after president Park Geun-hye vowed a “firm response” to any provocation.
The South has in the recent past offered the opportunity for greater cooperation between the two nations, if the North is willing. Yet continued provocation from North Korean dictators has angered South Korean leaders and the stance is increasingly turning hostile.
The mines used in the attack earlier this month were a wooden box design typically used by the North, according to South Korean General Koo Hong-mo. Also typical was the North’s response to the allegations, stating that it was a conspiracy by the South.
Hundreds of thousands of mines were planted near the Demilitarized Zone by both sides following the signing of an armistice in 1953, but the explosion was the first of its kind in since 1967.
Other accidents involving villagers have occurred as well, including one death in 2010 following a flood which moved some of the mines downstream.
The low-profile mine attacks allow the North to maintain the illusion to their citizens that they are still fighting the war against the South and the “western imperialists,” which is technically true as the armistice has never been replaced with a proper peace treaty.
The loudspeaker broadcasts have not been implemented by the South for 11 years, in what was a part of reconciliation efforts at the time.