Tensions escalate as S. Korea cuts trade ties over warship sinking.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
SEOUL, South Korea — Tensions on the Korean peninsula soared Tuesday as South Korea resumed propaganda broadcasts into North Korea in retaliation for the deadly sinking of a warship, while the North's leader reportedly has ordered troops ready for combat.The South's restarting of psychological warfare operations was among measures it announced Monday, along with slashing trade, to punish Pyongyang for the March torpedo strike that sank a navy warship and killed 46 sailors.The US has thrown its full support behind South Korea's moves to retaliate, which also include bringing North Korea before the UN Security Council. China — North Korea's main ally and aid provider and a veto-weilding member of the Security Council — has so far done little but urge calm on all sides.US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was in Beijing conferring with officials on a coordinated response. China's top nuclear envoy, meanwhile, huddled with South Korean officials in Seoul.South Korea's military resumed radio broadcasts airing Western music,news and comparisons between the South and North Korean political andeconomic situations late Monday, according to the Joint Chiefs ofStaff. The military also planned to launch propaganda leaflets Tuesdayto inform North Koreans about the ship sinking.In coming weeks,South Korea also will install dozens of propaganda loudspeakers andtowering electronic billboards along the heavily armed land borderbetween the two Koreas to send messages enticing communist soldiers todefect to the South.The action, which ends a six-yearsuspension, is expected to draw an angry response from North Korea. Thecountry's military already warned Monday it would fire at anypropaganda facilities installed in the Demilitarized Zone.
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