North Korea sends another wave of balloons to South Korea

Yonhap News Agency/Reuters

Balloons sent from North Korea are seen on the beach in Incheon, South Korea on June 9, 2024.


Seoul
CNN

North Korea South Korean activists have once again sent hundreds of garbage-filled balloons to their southern neighbors after sending floating packages in the other direction. K-pop and K-dramas on USB sticks.

About 330 balloons carrying debris have been launched by North Korea since Saturday night, and about 80 of them have landed in South Korea, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said on Sunday.

The packages were found to contain waste paper and plastic and contained no safety hazards, JCS said.

According to CNN’s tally, about 1,060 balloons from the North have flown into South Korean territory since May 28.

South Korea’s National Security Council held an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss responses to the latest wave of balloons.

Last week, Pyongyang sent a total of 3,500 balloons carrying 15 tons of debris to its neighbors, state media KCNA reported, citing North Korea’s Vice Defense Minister Kim Kang Il.

The South Korean military responded by broadcasting over loudspeakers into North Korea on Sunday afternoon local time, the JCS said.

South Korea’s military once championed the propaganda broadcast as part of psychological warfare against the North until it withdrew the equipment following a 2018 summit between the neighbors.

The broadcasts inform North Korean soldiers and residents of “the reality of North Korea”, South Korea’s development and Korean culture, the JCS said, adding that it is “capable of executing its mission immediately within a few hours if required.”

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North Korea insisted that North Korea “takes full responsibility” for the current situation and that it must “immediately stop bad actions such as sending waste balloons.”

The JCS cautioned that the military’s resumption of loudspeaker transmissions was “entirely subject to North Korea’s action.”

Since then the countries have been cut off from each other The Korean War ended with an armistice in 1953. They are still technically at war, the balloon fight has been going on for decades.

Groups such as the Fighters for a Free North Korea have long sent balloons carrying items banned in the isolated dictatorial dictatorship, including food, medicine, radios, propaganda leaflets and South Korean news.

South Korea Joint Staff/AP

Debris from a balloon launched by North Korea is seen in Seoul, South Korea on June 9, 2024.

In May, North Korea sent giant balloons of its own to the South – filled with garbage, mud, paper and pieces of plastic and what South Korean officials described as “filth”.

Kim said the balloons were “definitely a response” to South Korea’s years-long practice of sending up balloons with anti-North Korean leaflets.

The minister said last week that North Korea would “temporarily stop dumping trash on the border,” but on Thursday South Korean activists sent balloons to their northern neighbor, carrying hundreds of thousands of leaflets denouncing leader Kim Jong Un and 5,000 USB sticks containing K-pop. and K-dramas.

South Korea’s JCS said on Saturday night that North Korea was “inflating its suspected debris balloons” and warned that the wind direction would mean the balloons were moving south. They are advised to be careful of falling objects, not to touch the fallen balloons and to inform the nearest army base or police if they see them.

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