1. ITV Report

South Korea silences its propaganda broadcasts at border with North ahead of summit

The South has switched off propaganda broadcasts at the border Credit: AP

South Korea has pressed the mute button on its anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts at the border with North Korea for the first time in two years.

It comes just days before the leaders of both countries are to meet for talks expected to focus on the North's nuclear programme, Seoul officials said.

For years the two sides have used loudspeakers at the border to blast propaganda at each other across the 4km-wide demilitarised zone that separates the two countries.

The South broadcasts include K-pop hits, while the North favours patriotic songs and praise for its leader Kim Jong Un.

Following a thaw in relations, however, Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are due to meet in the truce village of Panmunjom on Friday for talks.

South Korea has turned off its broadcasts to try to ease military tensions ahead of that.

Mr Trump tweeted Pyongyang agreed to Credit: AP

The move also comes after North Korea said on Friday it would suspend nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile launches ahead of a planned summit with the US.

A place and date have yet to be set for that, but US President Donald Trump's pick to be the next US secretary of state, CIA director Mike Pompeo, travelled to North Korea on Easter weekend to lay the groundwork for the meeting.

Mr Trump has claimed in a tweet that Pyongyang agreed to "denuclearisation" ahead of this potential meeting.

In fact, the North has stopped short of saying it has any intention of abandoning its nuclear arsenal, with Kim making clear that nukes remain a "treasured sword".

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North Korea has for decades pushed a concept of "denuclearisation" that bears little resemblance to the American definition.

It has vowed to pursue nuclear development unless Washington removes its troops from the Korean Peninsula and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan.

This time South Korea’s President Moon has said Mr Kim is not asking for the withdrawal of US troops from the Korean Peninsula as a condition for abandoning his nuclear weapons.

If true, that would seem to remove a major sticking point to a potential disarmament deal.