A South Korean Christian group is permitted to light up massive steel Christmas trees near the border with the North, despite North Korea warning South Korea of “unexpected consequences”.
Following the warming of ties, South Korea halted its tradition of lighting up Christmas trees in 2003, but the South lit a tower last year as relations deteriorated between the neighbours.
The trees will stay lit for 15 days starting 23 December and the South will bolster security near the trees
The trees will be able to be seen from Kaesong, a major North Korean city and for the South are a symbol the freedom of expression and religion.
The North’s state-run Uriminjokkiri website responded saying the North will retaliate using a form of “psychological warfare”.
Animosity between the two Koreas still lingers in the aftermath of the North’s alleged torpedoing of a South Korean warship and its artillery bombardment of a South Korean island that killed a total of 50 South Koreans last year.
North Korea has denied responsibility in the warship sinking.
The Associated Press quotes a defence ministry official as saying the South has agreed to allow Christian groups to light a further two towers this year.
The official says the towers will be located in the western, central and eastern parts of the border and security will be tight during the 15 days they are lit, beginning on 23 December.
News category: World.