South Korea on Monday ordered border propaganda operations against North Korea to resume for the first time in 11 years, in retaliation for landmine blasts that maimed two of its soldiers during a frontier patrol. The Defence Ministry said banks of loudspeakers positioned at various spots along the border would be switched on for the first time since 2004 and used to blast out messages denouncing North Korean provocations. The move will infuriate North Korea and likely trigger a surge in cross-border tensions at a time of already severely strained relations between Seoul and Pyongyang. The order came hours after Seoul vowed Pyongyang would pay a "harsh price" for allegedly planting the landmines that detonated last Tuesday in the South Korean half of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) -- a buffer area flanking both sides of the inter-Korean frontier. One soldier injured in the blasts underwent a double leg amputation, while another had one leg removed. The US-led United Nations Command which oversees the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, said analysis of the mine debris showed them to be North Korean "wooden box" landmines placed on a known South Korean patrol path. "The investigation determined that the devices were recently emplaced," it said, ruling out the possibility they were old mines displaced over the border by shifting soil patterns. -- Just a 'first step' -- The South's Joint Chiefs of Staff vowed that North Korea, which has yet to react to the charge that it was behind the blasts, would "pay a harsh price proportionate for the provocation it made". Describing the attack as a "baseless act" and "wanton violation" of non-aggression accords, it urged the North to apologise and punish those responsible. A Defence Ministry official described the resumption of border propaganda operations as only a "first step." The loudspeakers had blared out messages extolling the virtues of South Korea for years before the practise was discontinued by mutual agreement in 2004 during a period of rapprochement between the two Koreas. Seoul had threatened to resume the campaign in 2010 after the sinking of a naval corvette that was blamed on a North Korean submarine. -- Limited options -- But although the loudspeakers were re-installed, they were never put back into use as Seoul limited itself to a number of direct FM radio broadcasts into North Korea instead. Switching the loudspeakers back on is sure to trigger a strong reaction from the North, which already complains regularly and bitterly about Seoul's refusal to ban activists floating anti-North leaflets across the border by helium balloon. Because the 1953 armistice was never replaced with a peace treaty, the two Koreas remain technically at war and the DMZ -- despite its name -- is one of the most heavily-militarised frontiers on the planet. Yang Moo-Jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said North Korea was almost certain to deny planting the mines, and added that it was difficult to deduce any motive for such an operation. "Whatever the reason, South Korea has limited options to respond, especially inside the DMZ where military activity is so closely controlled and monitored," Yang said. Some analysts suggested it was a pre-emptive attempt to raise tensions before a major South Korea-US military exercise scheduled to begin next week. On Saturday North Korea had promised a "tough military counter-action" if the joint drill went ahead. The last direct attack on the South was in November 2010 when North Korea shelled the South Korean border island of Yeonpyeong, killing two civilians and two soldiers. South Korea responded by shelling North Korean positions, triggering brief fears of a full-scale conflict. The latest incident comes at a sensitive time, with both Koreas preparing to commemorate the 70th anniversary on Saturday of the 1945 liberation of the Korean peninsula from Japanese rule. There had been hopes that the anniversary might be an opportunity for some sort of rapprochement, but efforts to organise a joint commemoration went nowhere. Pyongyang refused to consider talks because of Seoul's refusal to cancel its military drills with the United States.
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- Packers Wire
Randall Cobb confirmed through Twitter that he is coming back to the Green Bay Packers.
(Reuters) -Sixteen-year-old Viktoria Listunova won the women’s artistic gymnastics all-around title at both the European and Russian Championships earlier this year. However, despite placing sixth overall in the qualifying round on Sunday, the Russian Olympic Committee athlete will not get the chance to try for another all-around crown at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There is a long list of athletes who over the years have been left out of Olympic finals because of the two-per-country rule, first introduced at the 1976 Montreal Games for apparatus finals.
- NBC Sports Chicago
Simone Biles surprised everyone when she pulled out of the gymnastics team final after struggling to land a vault, but for a short time, the world only knew her departure was due to a medical issue.
The Ohio Republican could be subpoenaed to testify about his exchanges with the then-president on the day the U.S. Capitol was attacked.
😬 😬 😬
- Patriots Wire
Tom Brady's return will elicit some interesting reactions by fans.
April Love Geary is here to remind us that we are not going to shame other women in 2021, right? Right! After the model, and mom-of-three, posted a pretty spectacular butt shot on her Instagram account on Sunday, there was, of course, someone who had no self-control and just had to send her a nasty […]
- LA Times
The Times TV team discusses watching an often deflating, thoroughly chaotic Olympics — and why NBC's approach to televising it is part of the problem.
- Business Insider
CDC: Color-coded map shows where Americans need to wear masks again, and where you can go maskless, outside of schools
Vaccinated people can still spread the Delta variant, which is one of the biggest reasons masks are being recommended indoors again.
"This broke my focus and that problem impacted my time," said Hungary's Kristof Milak.
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/GettyNikki Glaser is a world-class stand-up comedian, a ruthless celebrity roaster, and an endlessly engaging daily podcaster. Now, she’s also a reality TV star thanks to her new gig hosting the deliberately absurd dating show FBoy Island on HBO Max.On this week’s episode of The Last Laugh podcast, Glaser talks about how she landed her dream job after “embarrassing” herself on Dancing with the Stars, shares her unvarnished opinions on
The Fox News personality mocked police officers who testified about fending off violent Donald Trump supporters with a spoof awards ceremony.
- The Wrap
Olympic Judo competitor Saeid Mollaei shouted out Israel after winning the silver medal in the men's 81kg Judo event, a nod to his difficult past and the obstacles he overcame to even be able to compete in this year's Tokyo Olympics. "Thank you to Israel for all the good energy -– this medal is dedicated to you as well and I hope Israeli is happy with this victory, todah," Mollaei told Israeli news outlet Channel 5 Sports after winning the silver medal. Mollaei is originally from Iran, where he
- NBC Sports
This trade could work well for both teams.
- Packers Wire
Winners can often be decided along lines of leverage, and the Packers – with most of the leverage – look like the winners of the agreement with Aaron Rodgers.
- Yahoo Life
Vanessa Williams is ‘legendary’ as she shows off toned abs in bikini: ‘Are we doing bikini shots in our early 50s?’
The 58-year-old pageant queen is a goddess!
- Bengals Wire
Burrow and Uno are at it already.
State Rep. Jake Ellzey will head to Congress after defeating Trump-endorsed Susan Wright in a runoff featuring two GOP candidates.
Things are buzzing around the Mets with the trade deadline approaching, and there is a developing situation with Kumar Rocker.
- Motley Fool
Growth stocks are moving, and the popular ETF money manager is making moves. Let's dive into her shopping list to see some of the stocks she bought on Tuesday.