South Korea Lights up Christmas Tree Near North Korea Border

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A South Korean church group lit a huge Christmas tree tower today in an unusual and potentially dangerous place--it's atop of a hill on the border between North and South Korea. Tensions were high with fears that communist North Korea might try to attack it.

Amid high military tensions, South Korea lit up a giant Christmas tree on top of a border hill near North Korea on Tuesday.

More than 300 South Korean Christians from a church in Seoul gathered near the hill called "Aegibong" to see the tree.

It had not been lit up for seven years because of complaints by the North.

Dozens of high-profile politicians and local celebrities came to celebrate the launch of the tree. It consists of a 100-foot-high steel tower with about one thousand light bulbs.

[Lee Young-hoon, South Korean Church Minister]:
"I hope this light would become a light of hope, reconciliation, forgiveness and peace. Ultimately, I hope this light to be the light of unification."

The military alert level was at its highest near the ceremony venue, with mounting speculation over a possible attack on the tree by the North.

North Korea denounced the ceremony as propaganda warfare.

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