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Loudspeakers taken away as of today

The Republic of Korean military is removing the loudspeaker broadcasting facilities that aired anti-Pyeongyang messages from May 1 as per the 'Panmunjeom Declaration' reached between the leaders of North and Republic of Korea. This marks the first action taken by the Republic of Korean government, four days after the Panmunjeom Declaration was announced.

The Ministry of National Defense announced on April 30 that our military would preferentially start taking away loudspeaker broadcasting facilities for anti-Pyeongyang around the MDL as a follow-up measure for the Panmunjeom Declaration from May 1.

"This is part of our action to conform with the Panmunjeom Declaration under which it was agreed to stop all hostile acts including broadcasting using a loudspeaker and leaflet dropping around the MDL and abolish these means from May 1," said a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defence(MND).

Also, the MND emphasized the need for full follow-up measures to ensure compliance with the Panmunjeom Declarationm, while maintaining a firm military readiness posture.

Speaking on the background motivations for tearing down the broadcasting facilities, Choi Hyun-soo, a spokesperson for the MND said, "We thought it was a beginning step that could help us get started easily on military trust building. This is stated in the Panmunjeom Declaration."

May 1, when the MND starts taking away loudspeaker broadcasting facilities, is coincidentally the day our military started the anti-Pyeongyang messages for the first time 55 years ago. The front line loudspeakers were taken down after the second general-level military talks on June 4, 2004.

After the Cheonan issue in March, 2010, however, Republic of Korea rebuilt the loudspeaker broadcasting facilities around the MDL and resumed the broadcasting right after the North's DMZ land mine provocation in 2015, then stopped again the same year. Broadcasts were later resumed in response to the 4th nuclear test by the North in January 2016.

By Su-Yeol, Maeng < >
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