South Korea is bombarding North Korean troops stationed in the Demilitarised Zone with news about a compatriot who defected across the border.
Large batteries of loudspeakers set up just to the south of the tense frontier are being used to inform the defector’s former comrades that while he suffered serious injuries after being shot by fellow North Korean troops, he has undergone surgery in a South Korean hospital and is making a good recovery. [restrict]
The 24-year-old North Korean soldier, who has only been identified by his surname, Oh, received more than 3 gallons of blood in a series of transfusions – more than double the amount that is in the human body – and has expressed his gratitude to the South Korean people for saving his life, his doctor told media.
As well as detailing the treatment Mr Oh has received since defecting, the broadcasts are highlighting the fact that North Korean troops fired around 40 shots at him in an effort to stop his escape on November 13, Yohnap news reported.
The broadcasts – which can be heard in villages several miles inside North Korea – are also commenting on the defector’s general health.
Inside North Korea
At 5 feet and 6 inches, he is nearly half an inch taller than the average North Korean, although he weighs a mere 132 lbs. And despite being a member of the North’s elite border guards, Mr Oh was found to be suffering from an infestation of parasitic worms, a chronic liver infection and hepatitis B.
After an 11-year hiatus, South Korea resumed propaganda broadcasts across the DMZ in August 2015 after two members of a military patrol operating on the South Korean side of the frontier were maimed by a North Korean land mine.
The aim is to undermine the morale of border guards and villagers living close to the border and encourage more people to defect.
Incensed, North Korea has in the past threatened to target the loudspeakers with artillery fire. It also tries to drown out the broadcasts with its own loudspeakers playing military music. [/restrict]