Defense officials from South Korea said its communist neighbors called for the removal of the illuminated church crosses that light up the South Korean sky, August 23, 2004.
According to the Associated Press report, the North “would in turn think about ways to erase huge political carvings on rocky cliffs facing the South that glorify its socialist system and leaders both alive and dead.”
The trade-off agreement was reached in June, during military talks between the two nations that have officially been at war since 1950. However, the implementations of the agreements were halted because North Korea suspended further military talks over a dispute on fishing territory.
According to a defense ministry official from the South, it was unclear as to why North Korea singled out crosses.
"They can see them really well from over there, because some of them were put where they are to make sure they can be seen clearly, for example during Christmas," the official said.
However, according to Suzanne Scholte, President of the Defense Forum Foundation and the Vice Chairman of the North Korea Freedom Coalition, the far-fetched request of the Communist regime is consistent with its past propagandistic record.
“It wouldn’t surprise me it were true. The north Koreans will threaten and bring us to the negotiating table where we can bring some deal that they will break anyways,” said Scholte, the treasurer of the US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. “They never intend to comply to the agreements they sign.”