Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REVISITED

After key battle, Syrian town of Kobane looks to the future

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'War is not an option,' says former FARC guerrilla leader

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Madagascar political crisis: top court orders formation of unity government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Ireland's abortion referendum

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Weinstein in court; Ireland abortion vote; Italy's populist takeover

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Sugar and spice: The flavours of the French Caribbean

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

The French are so rude! Or are they?

Read more

ENCORE!

The writing's on the wall: Revolutionary posters from May 68

Read more

REPORTERS

'We heard there might be a civil war': May 68 seen from abroad

Read more

S. Korea halts border broadcasts ahead of Kim summit

© AFP/File | Both Koreas broadcast propaganda across the heavily-fortified Demilitarized Zone that divides them

SEOUL (AFP) - 

South Korea's military on Monday switched off giant loudspeakers blasting messages towards the North's soldiers at the border, in a conciliatory gesture ahead of Friday's historic inter-Korea summit.

The South has long broadcast a mix of news, music and propaganda messages urging the North's soldiers to defect through huge speakers along the heavily-fortified border, with operations varying depending on the swings of volatile inter-Korea ties.

The North plays propaganda of its own.

Relations have improved markedly in recent months, with the North announcing at the weekend that it would not conduct any more nuclear tests or long-range missile launches.

The latest developments come ahead of a summit between the North's leader Kim Jong Un and the South's President Moon Jae-in on Friday, and with Kim expected to meet US President Donald Trump later.

"We stopped loudspeaker broadcasts... as of today in order to ease military tension and to create a peaceful climate... ahead of the 2018 inter-Korea summit," Seoul's defence ministry said in a statement.

The two neighbours remain technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice instead of a peace treaty, with tens of thousands of soldiers guarding the mine-infested land border.

Friday's meeting, to be held on the southern side of the border truce village of Panmunjom, is only the third summit ever between the two Koreas after encounters in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007.

All eyes are on whether Kim will promise any concrete steps towards dismantling the North's nuclear arsenal.

The young leader, believed to be in his mid-30s, has overseen four of the country's six nuclear tests and Pyongyang hails its weapons as a "treasured sword" protecting the country from potential US invasion.

Kim has also overseen dozens of missile tests, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the US mainland.

© 2018 AFP