S Korea reactivates propaganda speakers as tensions with North rise

S Korea reactivates propaganda speakers as tensions with North rise

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Pyongyang, North Korea (CNN)Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have once again ratcheted up as South Korea responds to its northern neighbor’s latest antagonism.
The South reactivated its propaganda speakers near its heavily fortified border with North Korea on Friday following Pyongyang’s announcement about its purported H-bomb test earlier in the week.Seoul announced that, as of midday Friday local time (10 p.m. Thursday evening ET), it has resumed broadcasting propaganda using loudspeakers over the demilitarized zone, the heavily guarded buffer between the two Koreas.
It has also confirmed an increase in the level of cybersecurity defense.
North Korea considers the broadcasts tantamount to an act of war, and at times has responded to them with artillery fire.
Skepticism from international experts about North Korea’s claim to have conducted its first H-bomb test isn’t dampening spirits in Pyongyang.
In the North Korean capital, where CNN is the only U.S. broadcaster operating, officials say the announcement has triggered an outpouring of national pride.
North Korean officials plan to take CNN’s crew to a science center, where people close to the pr oject will explain the science behind it.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry publicly took issue with China’s policy toward its neighbor North Korea on Thursday, saying that North Korea’s only major ally’s “particular approach,” which failed to fully enforce sanctions against its belligerent neighbor, has failed.
“Today in my conversation with the Chinese I made it very clear: That has not worked and we cannot continue business as usual,” he said.
North Korea bragged Wednesday about the “spectacular success” of its first hydrogen bomb test, a defiant act that leader Kim Jong Un, in a statement read on state television, said would “make the world … look up to our strong nuclear country.”
Outside the hermit kingdom, however, Pyongyang’s hydrogen bomb claims are being treated with skepticism.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “The initial analysis is not consistent with the North Korean claims.”
Wednesday’s test yielded a blast of a similar magnitude to a previous North Korean test in 2013, according to Martin Navias, a military expert at King’s College London.
“We won’t know for another few days or weeks whether this was [a hydrogen bomb],” he said. “It doesn’t look like one; … one would have expected [the power]to be greater if it was an H-bomb.”
One analyst in Seoul cast doubt on whether enough material could be collected to ever find out definitively what Pyongyang has tested.
“After the third nuclear test [by North Korea in 2013]we couldn’t find any radionuclides… it means they can shield the test facilities very well,” says Jiyoung Park, a senior research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies. – CNN

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