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North Korea Warns Of War After South Resumes Loudspeaker Broadcasts

Days after North Korea claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb, South Korea retaliated with propaganda broadcasts across the nation's border.

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North Korea on Saturday threatened war against the South after Seoul resumed blasting messages on loudspeakers across the border in retaliation for Pyongyang's latest nuclear test.

The propaganda messages, which feature news from the world, K-pop music, and criticism about authoritarian leadership, are broadcast over high-wattage speakers placed along South Korea's border with the North.

Pyongyang said it tested a hydrogen bomb on Wednesday, which is even more powerful than the nuclear devices it has tested three times in the past, but experts have been skeptical of the claim.

The loudspeaker messages spark anger among North Korean officials, as they tightly control what information enters the country and are sensitive to any criticism of the leadership of Kim Jung Un, the third member of his family to rule the country.

On Saturday, a top North Korean ruling party official said the broadcasts and discussions between Washington and Seoul regarding aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons have pushed the Korean Peninsula "toward the brink of war," the Associated Press reported.

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In August, South Korea agreed to stop the broadcasts as the two countries seemed on the verge of major conflict, after North Korea declared a "quasi-state of war." Before last summer, the broadcasts had been silent since 2010.

After North Korea fired a torpedo that sank a warship in 2010, the South responded by broadcasting the song "Hit Your Heart" by the group 4minute, according to TIME. K-pop is included in the broadcasts to show the appeal of free will and prosperity.

This time around, the South included recent pop hits like "Bang Bang Bang" from boy band Big Bang, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"I'll set this place on fire. To burn up your heart. I wanna make you go crazy," the group sings.

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Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

Jon Passantino is a deputy news director for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Jon Passantino at jonathan.passantino@buzzfeed.com.

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