North, South Korea Align Time Zones, Take Down Propaganda Speakers in DMZ

North, South Korea Align Time Zones, Take Down Propaganda Speakers in DMZ
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REUTERS/ Kim Hong-JiAsia & Pacific22:29 01.05.2018Get short URL
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Both North Korea and South Korea began taking down loudspeakers that blasted propaganda at one another along the demilitarized zone on Tuesday, according to the South Korean Defense Ministry.

The removal of the speakers is part of the Korean Peninsula’s steps toward reconciliation following the historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae In last week.

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REUTERS/ Kim Hong-JiA reporter prepares a news report as South Korean soldiers dismantle loudspeakers that were set up for propaganda broadcasts near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, May 1, 2018.

According to the BBC, Seoul’s speakers went up in the 1960s and have played everything from news reports to K-Pop music in hopes of making North Korean soldiers doubt the legitimacy of their leadership.

It’s unclear how many speakers either country had in use by the time they decided to silence them late last month. South Korea has also urged private companies to stop sending leaflets to the North, to avoid jeopardizing the building inter-Korean talks.

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REUTERS/ Kim Hong-JiSouth Korean soldiers move loudspeakers that were set up for propaganda broadcasts near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, May 1, 2018.

North Korea will also be shifting its time zone by 30 minutes to align with South Korean time starting May 5, 2018. This move, according to North Korean state media, is “a first practical step for national reconciliation and unity.”

“It is not an abstract meaning, that the North and the South become one, but it is just a process in which the North and South turn their different and separate things into the same and single ones,” KCNA reported Kim saying following the summit. The publication noted that the leader remarked that it was “a painful wrench” to see the clocks showing different times on the wall.

​The northern time zone, which was created in 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japan, ran 30 minutes behind South Korea’s.

Following Kim and Moon’s April 27 meeting, it was revealed on Tuesday that Kim had reportedly agreed to meet with US President Donald Trump at the DMZ for their own historic summit. As Sputnik previously reported, Kim agreed to the location after Moon suggested it would be the the best place. Trump has also commented that he is interested in holding the meeting at the DMZ, favoring it for its historical significance.

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, 45 stated that “the location and date [of the meeting] will be announced over the next couple of days.”

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