Seoul begins propaganda broadcasts as world weighs nuke test response

Highly sensitive propaganda broadcasts on the inter-Korean border began again Friday, a news report said, as world powers pushed for sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear test earlier this week.

The broadcasts by Seoul, which Pyongyang has described as an act of war, criticize the authoritarian regime of Kim Jong Un and its human rights abuses, and laud the accomplishments of democratic South Korea, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Played out at 11 points along the border, the broadcasts include pop songs, and can be heard at least 10 kilometres away, Yonhap said.

The broadcasts were stopped in August as part of a agreement to defuse tensions between the rival Korean neighbours, who are still technically at war after the Korean War ended in 1953 with a ceasefire rather than a peace agreement.

Artillery and short-range missiles have been deployed near the speakers, a Defence Ministry official said.

Pyongyang said that Wednesday's test was a hydrogen bomb, a more powerful type of weapon than it had tested before, but experts have expressed scepticism about this claim.

The United States, South Korea and Japan are pushing for stronger international sanctions on North Korea.

The UN Security Council pledged Wednesday to take "significant measures" against Pyongyang and said it would begin working on a resolution.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday he told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that the test showed China's efforts to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions were not working.

China's state-run Global Times appeared to hit back at the claims of a failure by Beijing in an editorial published Friday.

"For one thing, the North Korean regime has chosen the wrong path for security, and for another, the US has persistently stuck to a hostile policy toward North Korea," the commentary said.

"There is no hope to put an end to the North Korean nuclear conundrum if the US, South Korea and Japan do not change their policies toward Pyongyang," it said.

Last update: Fri, 08/01/2016 - 05:36

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