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North Korea’s Psyche: Why Loudspeaker Broadcasts Strike a Nerve

Daniel Kim Views  

On May 1, 2018, South Korean soldiers and workers were seen dismantling the fixed North Korean loudspeakers installed at the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) in Paju, Gyeonggi Province. Yonhap News

As the South Korean government considers resuming loudspeaker broadcasts in North Korea, Pyongyang has declared it will immediately halt the dispersal of trash balloons. Analysts suggest North Korea’s sensitive response to the loudspeakers is due to its effectiveness as a psychological warfare tool.

According to SBS, on the 3rd, 10 fixed and about 40 mobile loudspeakers towards North Korea were demolished from the inter-Korean border area following the Panmunjom Declaration in April 2018.

The South Korean military has reported that they are storing demolished loudspeakers, and some fixed loudspeakers can be installed in about 5 hours.

The high-output loudspeakers can broadcast information about North Korea, the latest pop songs, and weather forecasts over 20 kilometers (12.4 miles).

Ro Hui Chang, chairman of the Korean Peninsula Development Association and a former Workers’ Party official, told the media, “It’s heard so very clear that you can memorize the lyrics,” adding, “It’s completely different from North Korean propaganda, so it draws attention. That’s why (people) defected in large numbers.”

Analysts suggest that North Korea’s impact on the younger generation will be even greater when it has heightened cultural control by introducing measures such as anti-reactionary thought and culture law.

Ahn Chan Il, President of the World Institute for North Korea Studies, explained to SBS, “The Jangmadang generation, who are fully aware of Hallyu culture, are at the forefront, creating a complete synergy effect.”

In response to our military resuming loudspeaker broadcasts toward North Korea in August 2015 after the landmine provocation, North Korea declared a quasi-state of war in the front-line area. It even carried out artillery provocations around the loudspeakers.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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