Information Warfare: Sounds To Die For

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October 4, 2011: Sometimes Information Warfare must use bombs and bullets, as well as words. An example of this can be seen in South Korea, where the government prepares to resume using huge propaganda loudspeakers along the 253 kilometer DMZ (DeMilitarized Zone). The five kilometer wide DMZ that separates the two countries has long been the scene of exotic propaganda efforts. For many years, South Korea had large loudspeakers on their side of the DMZ. But in a peace gesture in 2004, the speakers were shut down and removed. The peace gesture didn’t work, so last year, the speakers were reinstalled at 14 locations along the DMZ. At that point, North Korea threatened to open fire if the speakers were used again. At night, the speakers can be heard some 20 kilometers into North Korea. The speakers deliver a combination of music and news. It's the news that bothers North Korea, especially accurate reporting about what is going on inside North Korea.

In response to the North Korea threats, South Korea has not turned on the speakers yet. Instead, more weapons and sensors were moved forward to try and defend the speakers. This included anti-aircraft weapons, counterbattery radar (to spot the location of North Korea artillery or mortars firing on the speakers.) Public opinion in South Korea is demanding that the speakers be turned on, if only to show the North Koreans that the southerners are not going to be intimidated.

The Korean War has not, officially, ended. There was an armistice in July, 1953, but never a peace treaty. The armistice could be breached, and the fighting resumed, because of a loudspeaker dispute.

 

 


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