South Korea's Defense Ministry says it has pulled down a 43-year-old frontline Christmas tower that North Korea viewed as propaganda warfare.

A ministry official says the massive steel tower was demolished last week because it was seen as dangerous in recent safety checks. He spoke on condition of anonymity citing office rules.

Local city officials say they will build a park on the site where the tower stood. It sat on a peak high enough for North Koreans living in border towns to see it.

South Korea stopped the lightening of the tower in 2004 as relations with North Korea warmed during an era of reconciliation. But South Korea allowed Christian groups to light the tower in 2010 and 2012 as tensions spiked.