South Korea has turned off loudspeakers that are used to broadcast propaganda across the border with North Korea.
Military chiefs switched the speakers off on Monday morning ahead of a summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un later this week.
The South said the move was designed ‘to create a peaceful climate’ ahead of the talks, which are the first of their kind to take place since 2007.
South Korea’s military has turned off giant speaker arrays that it uses to broadcast propaganda into North Korea ahead of a summit between the countries’ leaders
South Korea said turning off the speakers was designed to create ‘an atmosphere of peace’ ahead of a summit between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un on Friday
The speakers usually broadcast a mixture of K-Pop music, news reports critical of the North and messages urging soldiers to defect to the South.
The messages can be heard by soldiers stationed along the border, and nearby villagers.
North Korea has speaker arrays of its own which is uses to broadcast messages critical of the South. It is unclear whether these would also be silenced.
‘We stopped loudspeaker broadcasts… as of today in order to ease military tension and to create a peaceful climate… ahead of the 2018 inter-Korea summit,’ Seoul’s defence ministry said in a statement.
On Friday Kim Jong-un will make his first ever visit to South Korea as he meets with Moon Jae-in at the peace village of Panmunjom.
The talks mark only the third time that South and North Korean leaders have met following summits in 2000 and 2007.
At the last set of talks, Kim Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong-il, met with then-South Korean leader Roh Moo-hyun.
Both previous summits took place in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
The two neighbours remain technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice instead of a peace treaty.
Kim and Moon are set to meet in the village of Panmunjom on the southern side of the border, marking the first time the leaders of North and South have met since 2007
President Donald Trump is also expected to meet Kim in either May or June, when the pair will discuss North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons
Tens of thousands of soldiers still guard the mine-infested land border.
Relations have improved markedly in recent months, with the North announcing at the weekend that it would not conduct any more long-range missile launches.
The regime also agreed to dismantle its underground nuclear testing site of Punggye Ri and halt all nuclear tests.
It is thought the site partially collapsed after the North’s most recent and most powerful nuclear test, in September last year.
The dramatic loosening in relations comes ahead of an anticipated meeting between Kim and Donald Trump in either late May or June.
An exact date and venue has yet to be decided, though former CIA director Mike Pompeo has traveled to Pyongyang and met with Kim in preparation.
It is believed that Kim is willing to discuss giving up the North’s nuclear weapons without demanding the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea.
In return, Kim will be seeking an end to hostile policies against the North and a guarantee of safety for his regime, according to reports.
The young leader, believed to be in his mid-30s, has overseen four of the country’s six nuclear tests and Pyongyang hails its weapons as a ‘treasured sword’ protecting the country from potential US invasion.
Kim has also overseen dozens of missile tests, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the US mainland.