South Korea Blasts News Of Soldier’s Survival Into North Korea

REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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News of a North Korean soldier’s survival after he suffered multiple gunshot wounds during his defection at the DMZ is being blasted into North Korea by way of high-decibel loudspeakers, according to South Korean media.

24-year-old surnamed Oh made a desperate escape into South Korea last week, first in a jeep and then on foot, his comrades right on his heels. Although he was shot five or six times, he made it into the South before collapsing in a pile of leaves. He was rescued by U.S. and South Korean troops, airlifted to Ajou University Hospital, and treated by renowned medical personnel. After multiple surgeries, complicated by parasites, diseases, and infection, the young man is awake and recovering.

The broadcasts at the DMZ describe the latest defection, as well as the defector’s poor initial medical condition, in great detail. The broadcasts are part of a South Korean psyops campaign that absolutely infuriates the North Koreans, who fear the broadcasts will lead troops to defect.

The “Voice of Freedom” broadcasts, as they are called, are played using a collection of four dozen speakers able to project sound about 12 miles into North Korea. South Korea resumed these provocative broadcasts after North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January of last year.

The two North Korean soldiers who defected at the DMZ in June reportedly did so because they were influenced by the “Voice of Freedom” broadcasts at the border.

The loudspeaker campaign, which is regularly used to send news into North Korea but often focuses on the blaring of Korean pop music, is believed to be quite effective, but there is still more that can be done to get information into the reclusive regime.

“We don’t capitalize on our great weapon, which is information. That’s something they worry about a lot. Their reaction to the loudspeakers being activated along the DMZ or the dropping of leaflets by NGOs over North Korea, they go to nuts when that happens. So that is a great vulnerability I don’t think we’ve exploited,” former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in 2016.

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