- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 2, 2014

South Korean authorities will permit a Christian group to put up a Christmas tree along the border with North Korea, which is likely to cause friction between the nations; Kim Jong-un’s regime is officially atheist.

Seoul’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday that it would allow a tree to be placed roughly 2 miles from the border where a Christmas tree-shaped tower was dismantled in October, The Associated Press reported.

The Seoul-based Christian Council of Korea said Tuesday that a 30-foot tree will go up on Dec. 23 for two weeks as a symbol meant to encourage everyone to pray for peace, AP reported.

Pyongyang charged that the recently-dismantled tower, which had stood for 43 years, was tantamount to propaganda warfare, and may interpret the Christian group’s Christmas plan the same way.

South Korean and North Korea are technically still at war. The Korean Armistice Agreement signed in 1953 stopped the fighting but a peace treaty was never signed.

Roughly 28,500 U.S. troops are currently stationed in South Korea.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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