South Korea Agrees to Stop Playing Loud K-pop at Border If North Korea Promises Not to Declare War

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Songdowon International Children's Camp, as its remodelling project nears completion, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) April 21, 2014. REUTERS/KCNA (NORTH KOREA - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA - RTR3M2A4
Photo: KCNA / Reuters

After marathon talks prompted by North Korea’s threats to take military action if South Korean loudspeakers playing anti-Kim Jong-un radio broadcasts weren’t turned off, both countries have made a deal. South Korea has agreed to stop playing K-pop and news segments about democracy, and North Korea has agreed to stop preparing for war and has expressed “regrets” about a land-mine incident that injured two South Korean soldiers earlier in August. According to the New York Times, leaders also agreed to continue holding reunions for relatives separated by the Korean War.

The 48 loudspeakers have been blaring broadcasts for two weeks — and could be heard from about 12 miles away. The radio hosts mocked Kim Jong-un (“No foreign country will welcome Kim Jong-un, because he is a dictator. Thus, he is playing the king alone, on the red velvet.”) and note North Korea’s dismal human-rights record. People near the border also had to listen to a lot of K-pop with lyrics like“Tell me your wish, tell me your little dream, imagine your ideal type in your head, and look at me, I’m your genie, your dream, your genie.”

Before 2004, the two Koreas would routinely go to battle with radio broadcasts on the border; they stopped in order to try and improve relations between the two countries. In 2011, South Korea reinstalled a few speakers, but never turned them on after North Korea threatened to turn Seoul into a “sea of fire.”