South halts loudspeaker broadcasts ahead of inter-Korea summit

South Korea stopped loudspeaker broadcasts near the military demarcation line on Monday to create a positive atmosphere ahead of the summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the truce village of Panmunjom (pictured) on Friday.

The move is in appreciation of Pyongyang’s decision last week to suspend nuclear and missile tests and shut down its nuclear test facilities in Punggye-ri.

The decision to switch off the broadcasts was taken by Defence Minister Song Young-moo on Sunday.

North Korea’s military too began switching off some of its loudspeakers on the border on Monday and is expected to stop all broadcasts by late Monday.

The South began blaring anti-Pyongyang broadcasts using high-decibel loudspeakers along the border in 1963, according to Yonhap.

The two sides halted the sound war in 2015 after talks. Seoul resumed broadcasts in January 2016 following North’s fourth nuclear test.

The South’s military will pause its annual combined military exercise with the US on the summit day.

At the summit, Moon and Kim will discuss denuclearisation and replacing the existing armistice between the Koreas with a lasting peace agreement.

Kim will also meet US President Donald Trump in late May or early June.

Trump on Sunday said that while Kim’s willingness to denuclearise is a great step, the nuclear crisis is far from over. Maybe, things will work out, and maybe they will not. This only time will tell, Trump tweeted adding that the work he is doing now should have been done a long time ago.