Reuters reports: North and South Korea appeared headed toward another clash, as Seoul refused an ultimatum that it halt anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts by Saturday afternoon or face military action, and North Korea said its troops were on a war footing.
South Korean Vice Defense Minister Baek Seung-joo said on Friday it was likely the North would fire at some of the 11 sites where the loudspeakers are set up on the South’s side of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the countries.
Tension escalated on Thursday when North Korea fired four shells into South Korea, according to Seoul, in apparent protest against the broadcasts. The South fired back 29 artillery shells. Pyongyang accused the South of inventing a pretext to fire into the North.
Both sides said there were no casualties or damage in their territory, an indication that the rounds were just warning shots.
“The fact that both sides’ shells didn’t damage anything means they did not want to spread an armed clash. There is always a chance for war, but that chance is very, very low,” said Yang Moo-jin, professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul. [Continue reading…]
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports: A concert in Pyongyang on Wednesday by Laibach, an industrial rock band from Slovenia, was billed as the first live performance by a Western pop act in North Korea. And it left the audience with an eclectic view of just what makes a rock show.
Laibach, which was formed in 1980 in what was then Yugoslavia, is known for embracing fascist imagery in its costumes and videos, but with a wink that signals parody. “We are fascists as much as Hitler was a painter,” members said in an early 1980s interview. [Continue reading…]