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North Korea ceases broadcast of coded messages to spies in South Korea

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North Korea appears to have ceased operations of a radio station suspected of sending coded messages to its spies in the South.

Radio Pyongyang — also known as Voice of Korea — is a station known for broadcasting both entertainment programming and spoken lists of numbers that experts assert contain messages for agents abroad.

Supreme leader Kim Jong Un reportedly halted the function of Radio Pyongyang following a decision to reorganize inter-Korea affairs at a meeting of the Workers’ Party last month.

The radio station’s website has also apparently been retired, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The station traces its history back to 1945 when it inaugurated the airwaves with the post-WWII victory speech of Kim Il Sung. 

North Korean officials suspended the program in 2000, then resumed it in 2016.

International cooperation between the North and South has broken down in recent weeks after the Kim regime’s military fired a series of artillery barrages into the buffer zones between the countries, ostensibly for combat drills.

The regime reportedly held a meeting planning the slow wind-down of civilian exchange with the southern neighbor.

South Korean intelligence estimates approximately 260 shells were fired into the area earlier this month. The South Korean Defense Ministry reportedly fired approximately 400 rounds in response to the provocation.

Kim said last month that his regime ‘would by no means unilaterally bring a great event by the overwhelming strength in the Korean peninsula, but we have no intention of avoiding a war as well.’

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