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Gov`t nixes use of psychological warfare against N. Korea

Gov`t nixes use of psychological warfare against N. Korea

Posted November. 26, 2010 10:06,   


The South Korean government will reportedly not resume psychological operations against North Korea in response to the North’s shelling of Yeonpyeong Island.

This has fueled criticism from civilian and military experts who question whether Seoul has completely given up psychological warfare that could do damage to the North Korean military.

A South Korean official said Thursday that there were proposals to resume psychological warfare in considering countermeasures following the attack, but Seoul chose not to use them.

“The North Korean military reacts the most sensitively to (the South’s) psychological operations,” the official said. “But the option was excluded from Seoul’s countermeasures in the examination process because they lack immediate effects and involve significant risks.”

The countermeasures announced by the presidential office in Seoul failed to include the proposed resumption of psychological warfare.

With its society closed to the outside world, the North believes that leaflets blasting its leader and his successor threaten the communist regime. At a time when the North is desperate to complete the father-to-son power succession system, disseminating propaganda leaflets in the North could deal a blow to the North Korean leadership.

Propaganda broadcasting using loudspeakers can be heard in areas behind the frontlines and could disturb North Korean residents, let alone military personnel. These fears prompted the North to occasionally threaten to strike South Korean loudspeakers if they were used for psychological warfare.

“At a time when the South has a limited range of options for retaliation, Seoul should play its psychological operations card,” a South Korean military official said. “Giving up psychological operations could be seen as Seoul giving in to Pyongyang.”