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Tensions between North and South Korea reached an all-time high this week when North Korea declared that its troops are in a “quasi-state of war” and ready for battle.
The situation reached fever peak after leader Kim Jong Un demanded that 11 giant speakers on the South border facing North be removed after they started blasting out what they feel is “anti-North Korea propaganda” from its Voice of Freedom radio station.
The propaganda in question? As well as world news reports and TV drama clips, K-pop songs — which alongside other foreign arts is banned in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — has been blaring out at high volumes.
Songs from the likes of Girls’ Generation, IU, EXO and EXID have travelled across the demilitarized (DMZ) zone that separates the two countries thanks to the latest audio tech used. (Voice of Freedom is a long-running radio service that promotes freedom, peace and the realities of living in democratic society).
On Thursday August 20, North Korean “artillery strikes” fired across the border to back up a threat to attack the loudspeakers, and were quickly retaliated with dozens of rounds fired back by South Korean soldiers.
That evening North Korea threatened to turn Seoul “into a sea of flames” if it didn’t turn down the music by midnight on Friday August 21. The deadline has since passed and the speakers continue to play the messages.
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Arirang News and Associated Press report that top-level talks between both countries are now talking place at the Panmunjom truce village in the DMZ to defuse growing tension.