Tensions Decrease after North and South Korea Reach Agreement

October 21, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. tension /ˈtɛn ʃən/ (n.) – a relationship that is strained or somehow under pressure
Example: There has been tension between both nations since the 1970s.

2. propaganda /ˌprɒp əˈgæn də/ (n.) – information or ideas spread to either help or destroy a person or group
Example: The candidate was spreading propaganda against his competition.

3. infuriate /ɪnˈfyʊər iˌeɪt/ (v.) – to make someone angry
Example: The general was infuriated to hear that his soldier was injured.

4. truce /trus/ (n.) – an agreement made by two opposing sides to stop fighting
Example: The truce between the two countries allowed many soldiers to go home.

5. troop /trup/ (n.) – a group of soldiers or officials
Example: The troops were told to stay and guard for the night.


Read the text below.
North Korea and South Korea have finally reached an agreement regarding the tension between the two nations.

Tensions blew over after land mines exploded along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the border that separates the two nations. The explosion injured two South Korean soldiers. Seoul [sohl] accused Pyongyang of planting the land mines and responded by blasting propaganda through loudspeakers on the DMZ. Seoul’s propaganda then infuriated Pyongyang, which later threatened to blow up the loudspeakers. The two nations also exchanged fire, but no one was hurt.

After a series of talks, the two nations announced that they had agreed on a truce after Pyongyang expressed regret for the explosion. North Korea has agreed to pull back its troops. In return, Seoul will put a stop to its propaganda against North Korea.

As part of the agreement, both nations decided to continue reuniting families separated in the Korean War. Red Cross representatives from both nations met in September to discuss the deal. Despite thousands of applications, only 100 people from each country will be selected. The reunion will be held from October 20 to 26.

Since the Korean War in the 1950s, South Korea and North Korea have remained at war because both nations signed only a ceasefire agreement, not a peace treaty. After the ceasefire was agreed upon, the DMZ was built to separate the two nations. The war was originally a war between the two countries, but it later turned into an international affair when the Soviet Union and China took the side of the North, while the United States and the United Nations helped the South.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with South Korea stopping its propaganda against North Korea? Why or why not?
·         Do you think that this agreement could soon lead to peace between the two countries? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         If two countries are at war, do you think other countries should get involved? Why or why not?
·         What do you think are the possible reasons why the two Koreas have not signed a peace agreement yet? 

October 21, 2015