South Korea halted the propaganda broadcasts it blares across the border at North Korea on Monday ahead of their first summit in a decade, as U.S. President Donald Trump cautioned the nuclear crisis on the peninsula was a long way from being resolved.
North and South Korea are in the final stages of preparations for a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-In at the border truce village of Panmunjom on Friday.
Ahead of the summit, North Korea announced it would halt nuclear and missile tests and said it was scrapping its nuclear test site to instead pursue economic growth and peace.
“North Korea’s decision to freeze its nuclear program is a significant decision for the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a regular meeting at the Blue House on Monday.
“It is a green light that raises the chances of positive outcomes at the North’s summits with South Korea and the United States. If North Korea goes the path of complete denuclearization starting from this, then a bright future for North Korea can be guaranteed.”
The South’s propaganda broadcasts were stopped at midnight, the defense ministry said, without specifying whether they would resume after the Kim-Moon summit.
“We hope this decision will lead both Koreas to stop mutual criticism and propaganda against each other and also contribute in creating peace and a new beginning,” the South Korean defense ministry said about the decision to halt the broadcasts.
It is the first time in more than two years the South Korean broadcasts, which include a mixture of news, South Korean pop music and criticism of the North Korean regime, have been stopped.
North Korea has its own propaganda loudspeakers at the border, but a defense ministry official said he could not verify whether the North had stopped its broadcasts.