South Korea has halted its anti-North Korea propaganda broadcasts at the border ahead of its summit Friday with Pyongyang.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) April 23, 2018
The broadcasts, which include South Korean pop music and news critical of the North Korean government, ended at midnight on Monday as both countries prepare for the first summit in a decade.
The decision was confirmed by South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense, which did not state whether the broadcasts would continue after South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader meet in the border village of Panmunjom.
“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 defense ministry said.
Seoul’s announcement comes after Pyongyang on Saturday announced it would immediately suspend its nuclear weapons and missile tests and shut down the Punggye-ri nuclear test site.
While many are viewing North Korea’s gesture as solely a sign of goodwill, Pyongyang has declared testing unnecessary given their completion of a credible nuclear deterrence.
Analysts are also warning that a testing freeze does not stop North Korea from continuing the production of fissile material, nuclear weapons or missiles.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who is set to meet with Kim in late May or early June, appeared to express cautious optimism on Twitter Sunday.
“We are a long way from conclusion on North Korea, maybe things will work out, and maybe they won’t – only time will tell,” Trump said.
….We are a long way from conclusion on North Korea, maybe things will work out, and maybe they won’t – only time will tell….But the work I am doing now should have been done a long time ago!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2018
According to The Wall Street Journal, Trump will tell Kim that sanctions against the regime will not be lifted until North Korea dismantles its nuclear arsenal. The Journal also reports that Kim may release three detained U.S. citizens as part of the summit.