Connect to share and comment

North Korea to South: Christmas lights are "psychological warfare"

Despite disapproval from North Korea, South Korea still plans on lighting Christmas trees along their shared border.

South north korea christmas lightsEnlarge
Last year, South Korean soldiers stood guard at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony near the land border in Gimpo. The ceremony will occur again this year, raising tensions between the country and its northern counterpart once more. (Kim Jae-Myung/AFP/Getty Images)

Bah, humbug.

Last year, South Korea allowed a group of Christians to light a Christmas tree near the land border between South and North Korea. 

With the addition of two more trees, the South Korean government plans on repeating the same ceremony this Christmas, much to the dismay of its northern counterpart.

According to Al Jazeera, a North Korean state-run website named Uriminzokkiri "called the plan 'a mean attempt for psychological warfare' and threatened that lighting the trees would trigger an 'unexpected consequence.'"

For last year's ceremony, the South was accused of spreading propaganda through Christmas.

The North Korean capital of Pyongyang said using the tree "spread the Christian message to people inside the secular state," reported BBC News.

More from GlobalPost: US holds rare direct talks with North Korea on nuclear program

South Korea, on the other hand, sees it differently.

An anonymous Defense Ministry official told The Telegraph that continuing the ceremony was just the country's way of guaranteeing freedom of expression and religion.

The tree will be lit on December 23 and will remain on display over the next 15 days.

The relationship between these two nations has been straining since a torpedo hit a South Korean warship on March 2010, according to Al Jazeera.

The South accused the North of killing the 46 people who died from the attack, but Pyongyang denied any involvement.

More from GlobalPost: China pledges stronger military ties with North Korea

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/south-korea/111211/north-korea-south-christmas-lights