Music, Leaflets, and Loudspeakers: Koreas Trade Propaganda

Southern Officials Hope Broadcasts Will 'Demoralize' Northern Troops

Today was Kim Jong Un’s birthday, and South Korean officials carefully timed the resumption of propaganda broadcasts along the frontier to coincide with this, setting up the massive loudspeakers that have been the cornerstone of their propaganda effort for decades.

The earliest propaganda between the two nations began back during the 1950-53 war, mostly with propaganda leaflets targeting troops on either side. The stalemated war later saw both sides setting up electronic billboards and loudspeakers to send messages back and forth.

For South Korea, the propaganda broadcasts are practically their own radio station, complete with pop music, weather updates, and of course protracted “news stories” painting the North Korean government in a negative light.

The North Koreans have their own loudspeakers, with their own, more straightforward broadcasts, and they resumed their own broadcasts shortly after the South Koreans did. Such broadcasts usually only last a few weeks at a time these days, but reflect the ongoing acrimony between the two sides, 65 years into a war that still hasn’t formally ended.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.