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South Korea Stops Propaganda Broadcasts After Reaching Deal With North Korea

After three days of talks, South Korea stopped airing its propaganda broadcasts into the North on Tuesday as part of a deal to defuse tensions.

Posted on August 25, 2015, at 12:48 a.m. ET

South and North Koreans during a meeting at the border village of Panmunjom Tuesday.
The South Korean Unification Ministry / Via AP

South and North Koreans during a meeting at the border village of Panmunjom Tuesday.

South Korea stopped broadcasting propaganda messages over loudspeakers into North Korea on Tuesday as part of a deal to reduce rising tensions that was reached after more than 40 hours of talks.

In a vaguely worded message, North Korea expressed "regret" that two soldiers had been severely injured in a mine blast after the incident prompted South Korea to start playing the broadcasts after more than a decade of silence.

The message from North Korea did not officially acknowledge responsibility, but allows South Korea to save face while defusing the situation and avoiding the possibility of bloodshed, the Associated Press reported.

South Korean army soldiers ride on a truck in Paju, south of the demilitarized zone that divides the two Koreas, on Monday.
Ahn Young-joon / AP

South Korean army soldiers ride on a truck in Paju, south of the demilitarized zone that divides the two Koreas, on Monday.

On Tuesday, South Korea stopped playing the broadcast messages that encourage frontline soldiers in the North to defect. For its part, North Korea also agreed to lift a "quasi-state of war" that was declared last week.

The tensions between the two countries boiled over Thursday with shell fire exchanged across the heavily fortified border.

The agreement is a result of negotiations that started on Saturday, shortly before the North's deadline for the South to stop playing the broadcasts. The two countries met at the border village of Panmunjom, the same place where the two sides agreed in 1953 to end the Korean War in an armistice rather than a peace treaty.

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