North Korea Blasts Propaganda Into South Amid U.S. Military Exercises

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Pyongyang, North Korea

Pyongyang's broadcast comes in response to cross-border messages from South Korea last week, the first sent across the DMZ in 11 years.

A loud cross-border propaganda battle resumed on the Korean Peninsula this week after Pyongyang set up loudspeakers to blast messages across the demilitarized zone (DMZ) to its neighbors in the South.

The messages, according to South Korean broadcaster KBS, were not clearly audible but mostly involved chastisements of the South Korean government and praise of the North's own Communist system.

The loudspeaker attack comes as South Korea kicks off military exercises with the U.S. and other countries this week and is a response to Seoul's own audio assault. Last week, the South Korean government blasted a message to the North demanding that Pyongyang apologize for mine blasts on Aug.4 that severely injured two South Korean soldiers patrolling along the DMZ.

Such cross-border propaganda messages used to be commonplace but were stopped in 2004 in an effort to ease tensions. Seoul's message was the first of its kind in 11 years.

The military of several countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K., are in South Korea for exercises that will continue through Aug. 28.

Hours before sending out its loudspeaker messages, North Korean threatened to "retaliate against the U.S." if it did not cancel the military exercises.