Two Koreas reach middle ground in wage row

North Korea on Monday resumed a campaign of loudspeakers blasting propaganda across its border with South Korea, days after the South took a similar step in response to a landmine explosion in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).


North and South Korea agreed Monday to raise the the minimum wage 5 percent at a jointly operated industrial park, but the wage hike is closer to 8 percent after benefits.

Every year, U.S.-South Korean military exercises draw a strong rebuke from North Korea, which not only complains about the provocative nature of the war games, but also issues threats of destruction and retaliation.

The North’s broadcasts mark the restoration of inter-Korean propaganda warfare along the border after the two Koreas stopped the practice in 2004 as part of their efforts to ease animosities. “The companies had been particularly interested in improving workers’ abilities and numbers, and it looks like this agreement will leave them with better operating conditions”, said a Ministry of Unification official.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the “routine” exercises were proceeding normally.

Do military exercises worsen US-North Korea relations?

“This is all about proving alliance capability”, he told reporters in Washington.

The two Koreas are now in a propaganda battle once again. One of the soldiers lost two legs from the mine, while the other lost one leg.

Four exercises, involving tanks, howitzer guns, attack helicopters and fighter bombers, will be held in coming weeks in an area around 30km south of the North Korean border, the defence ministry said.

Lee Hee-ho, widow of former President Kim Dae-jung, speaks at a press conference at Gimpo Airport after returning from a four-day trip to North Korea, August 8. Not too long ago, South Korean activists angered the North when they launched balloons across the border filled with leaflets and DVDs of The Interview. South Korea returned fire, but no casualties were reported.


Last Saturday both nations celebrated the 70th anniversary of the peninsula’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule, and there had been hopes earlier this year that the event might offer the opportunity for some diplomatic fence-mending.

South Korea, US Kick Off Joint Annual War Game