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.
- The Daily Beast
Sergei Karpukhin/ReutersHot on the heels of embarrassing reports of Russian recruits fighting each other and Moscow loyalists calling for Kremlin ministers to kill themselves, it seems the rage against Vladimir Putin’s handling of his invasion of Ukraine is now openly being conveyed to the man himself by members of his own inner circle.A report Friday—which is Putin’s 70th birthday—said that one of the despot’s closest allies had openly challenged the disastrous way the war was being conducted.
Trump resented having to sign letters for US troops killed in Afghanistan during his presidency because he didn't want to 'attach his name to a war he disliked,' a book says
"Aides were struck that he seemed rattled by the number of deaths involved," Maggie Haberman writes in her new book of Trump's view of Afghanistan.
Tom’s Teammate Announced He’s Retiring to Be a ‘Full-Time Dad & Husband’—Can Someone Check on Gisele?
Gisele Bündchen has entered the chat.
Lee is survived by her husband, former WWE wrestler Cory Weston, and their three young children.
"Gentrification Is Real": This Woman Says Neighbors Offered Her $800K For Her Grandfather's Multi-Million-Dollar Home
Keisha Credit inherited her grandfather's home in a multi-million-dollar neighborhood. However, shortly after his passing, she started receiving offers as low as $800,000. "That’s good money, but absolutely not. It's disrespectful and assumes I don’t know the value of my home," she said.View Entire Post ›
- The Daily Beast
GettyJust over two weeks since Vladimir Putin’s latest hail mary in his war against Ukraine, things are going so well for the Russian leader that draftees are rioting, his top allies are at each other’s throats over a series of losses, and his defense minister has now been urged by his own team to blow his brains out.“Yes, really, many are saying that… a defense minister who allowed such circumstances to arise could, as an officer, just shoot himself. But, you know, for many the word ‘officer’ i
- Yahoo Sports
Richard Sherman blows a gasket after watching Russell Wilson lose on a pass at the goal line (again)
Richard Sherman had thoughts after watching Russell Wilson repeat history.
- Yahoo Sports
The Broncos had an open receiver on their final play of overtime.
- The New York Times
STAVKY, Ukraine — Racing down a road with his men in pursuit of retreating Russian soldiers, a battalion commander came across an abandoned Russian armored vehicle, its engine still running. Inside there was a sniper rifle, rocket propelled grenades, helmets and belongings. The men were gone. “They dropped everything: personal care, helmets,” said the commander, who uses the code name Swat. “I think it was a special unit, but they were panicking. It was raining very hard, the road was bad and th
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The woman appeared to tell the Princess of Wales, "Ireland belongs to the Irish"
- The Hill
Tropical Storm Julia is expected to form Friday and will likely become a hurricane over the southern Caribbean this weekend, the National Hurricane Center said.
A rift has opened in Trump's legal team, with a lawyer frozen out for wanting to cooperate with the DOJ: NYT
The lawyer, Chris Kise, was said by The New York Times to have recommended a gentler approach than Trump ultimately favored in the Mar-a-Lago case.
- USA TODAY
The suspect in the kidnapping and killing of a central California family was a former employee of the family who had a longstanding dispute with them.
Chris Geldart, a DC Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice has been charged with assault and battery after a parking lot altercation at a Gold's Gym in Arlington.Dustin Woodward, a trainer at Gold's Gym in says DC's Deputy Mayor Chris Geldart grabbed him by the neck in the gym's parking lot.
The ineptitude of Trump’s legal team reportedly forced GOP senators to take matters into their own hands by choreographing his Ukraine trial defense.
- USA TODAY Opinion
GOP leaders will rally around the professed anti-abortion candidate because they want power. They wouldn't care if he blew up the planet Alderaan.
- Kansas City Star
The Olathe Northwest High School teacher and coach is accused of having sexual intercourse with a student several times, both at his home and at the school, according to police.
The National Motorsports Appeals Panel on Thursday amended the September penalty to NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron for his intentional contact to Denny Hamlin under caution at Texas Motor Speedway, which sent the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing driver spinning into the infield and out of the top five Byron, a two-time 2022 winner […]
A lot of thought went into this yellow dress (which yep, you can shop RN).