South Korea plans to display Christmas tree-shaped lights for 15 days within view of the North Korean border beginning Dec. 23. North Korea has warned "unexpected consequences" if the lights are displayed.
The Associated Press reports that last year, South Korea allowed Christmas lights in the shape of a Christmas tree to be displayed on top of the Aegibong Peak Observatory just south of the demilitarized zone after recent attacks were blamed on North Korea. It was the first time in 7 years that such a display was shown near the border.
This year, the South Korean government is allowing two additional Christian groups to put up Christmas lights as a symbol of religious freedom and free speech.
North Korea has called the action a "mean attempt for psychological warfare". Canada.com reports that the North Korean government also states on its website:
"The enemy warmongers . . . should be aware that they should be held responsible entirely for any unexpected consequences that may be caused by their scheme. This issue . . . is not something to be ignored quietly."
In 2004, an agreement between the two nations was enacted to stop cross-border propaganda. The South agreed to stop displaying Christmas lights near the border up until last year, when the North was blamed for torpedoing a South Korean warship and attacking a border island.
North Korea's constitution states freedom of religion, although it is not practiced openly in the nation.
The Korean Peninsula was divided, and the two nations engaged in combat in the 1950's during the Korean War. Tension and hostility still exists between the two nations.