North Korea dumps 260 balloons filled with 'excrement' and rubbish on South

29 May 2024, 13:46

North Korea has been sending balloons of rubbish over the South
North Korea has been sending balloons of rubbish over the South. Picture: Alamy

By Luke Jefferies

North Korea has sent hundreds of white balloons across the border to South Korea containing “filthy waste and trash”, in retaliation to the South’s "frequent scattering of leaflets and other rubbish".

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South Korea has warned residents that live near the border with the North to be on alert and to report any further balloon discoveries.

Some balloons were seen to have the word ‘excrement’ written on a bag.

Meanwhile the North has accepted responsibility for the swarm of balloons that contained toilet paper, animal faeces, plastic bottles, batteries, and shoe parts.

Some of the balloons are believed to have travelled quite a distance, reaching the south-eastern province of South Gyeongsang.

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The North has accepted responsibility for the swarm of balloons
The North has accepted responsibility for the swarm of balloons. Picture: Alamy

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) for the Korean military put out a statement condemning the attack: “These acts by North Korea clearly violate international law and seriously threaten our people’s safety. We sternly warn North Korea to immediately stop these inhumane and vulgar acts.”

The military has deployed a chemical and biological warfare response team, as well as a bomb squad, to inspect the fallen balloons.

Some form of a response was anticipated, after the North Korean defence vice-minister, Kim Kang-il, warned they would retaliate to anti-North leaflets flown across the border in the opposite direction.

“Tit-for-tat action will be also taken against frequent scattering of leaflets and other rubbish near border areas,” Kim said on Sunday said in a statement to the official KCNA news agency.

South Korea has been sending aerial propaganda over the North Korean border for a number of years, often criticising the regime of Kim Jong-un and asking North Koreans to rise up against the dynasty. They have even sent USB stick’s containing K-pop music videos.

These propaganda balloons were banned by South Korea in 2021, arguing they did not advance peace talks and endangered residents living near the border. The ban was later ruled unconstitutional by the court saying it violated freedom of speech.

North Korean government officials feel the messages sent by South Korea are a major threat, with concerns that an influx of outside information would disrupt their tightly controlled society.

It also comes as tensions between the two countries have been heightened after North Korea’s fourth attempt to send a spy satellite into orbit on Monday failed, exploding in mid-air. South Korea condemned the attempt saying it would “undermine regional and global peace and stability”.

North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un responded with a vow to take “overwhelmingly stern” action against South Korea.

“This is a very dangerous provocation that cannot be ignored and a play with fire that we cannot forgive,” he said.

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