SEOUL, Aug. 19 (UPI) — North Korea has reopened shooting posts near the demilitarized zone and has increased target practice for guns aimed at the South’s propaganda loudspeakers.
Training at North Korea guard posts has been expanded, and an unidentified official in South Korea said the military has detected new movement that indicates the North’s shooting posts were open again, Yonhap reported.
North Korea has threatened retaliation after South Korea began its propaganda campaign across the DMZ on Aug. 10 as payback for land mine explosions that critically injured two South Korean soldiers. North Korea has denied any involvement.
North Korea’s border guards typically close the shooting posts but when they do open, South Korea interprets the move as a signal to prepare for an exchange of fire.
The South Korea military official who spoke to Yonhap on the condition of anonymity said, “North Korea has recently begun conducting artillery training at a higher frequency and has shown more power to rapidly deploy troops in training than in the past.”
South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo had said Tuesday before a South Korean parliamentary committee that North Korea was preparing military measures, including drills, against the South’s loudspeakers.
Seoul has said the North fears the South’s propaganda campaign because it exposes the regime in Pyongyang. South Korean outlet News 1 reported Seoul has hired a woman defector as one of the commentators for South Korea’s propaganda campaign, and that South Korea’s broadcasts are taking place in 11 districts along the DMZ.
The defector is in charge of telling stories of her escape from North Korea and of her life in the South. Her stories of everyday affairs are to be told with the mission of gaining the trust of North Koreans on the other side of the border, South Korea said.
Defectors in South Korea previously have said they were motivated to leave North Korea after listening to South Korea programs that they were able to receive through transistor radios.