North Korea sends another wave of trash balloons into South Korea

Balloons possibly sent from North Korea seen off the coast of Incheon, South Korea on June 9, 2024.
Published June 9, 2024

North Korea has yet again sent hundreds of trash-laden balloons towards its southern neighbor, reigniting a tit-for-tat exchange after South Korean activists sent floating packages in the other direction carrying K-pop and K-dramas on USB sticks.

About 330 balloons carrying bags of trash had been sent by North Korea since Saturday night, of which about 80 have landed in South Korea, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said on Sunday.

Waste paper and plastic were found in the packages and there were no substances hazardous to safety, the JCS said.

Around 1,060 balloons from the North have made it into South Korean territory since May 28, according to a CNN tally.

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

Last week, Pyongyang claimed to have sent a total of 3,500 balloons carrying 15 tonnes of trash to its neighbor, according to state media KCNA, citing North Korea’s Vice Defense Minister Kim Kang Il.

Seoul will resume broadcasting propaganda messages through loudspeakers over the heavily armed border, the presidential office said in a statement on Sunday.



RELATED: North Korea launches over 300 trash-carrying balloons toward South Korea since Saturday

South Korean soldiers collect debris from trash-carrying North Korean balloons in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, June 9. Yonhap
Published June 9, 2024

Korea restarted propaganda loudspeaker broadcasts toward North Korea on Sunday in response to the North’s repeated sending of trash-filled balloons across the border since late last month.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it carried out the loudspeaker broadcasts in the afternoon, without providing further details, such as the exact time it was carried out and what the broadcasts were about, as it was a military operation.

It marked the first anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts near the heavily fortified border since January 2016, when the South Korean military resumed its loudspeaker campaign in retaliation for North Korea’s fourth nuclear test.

The resumption of the loudspeaker broadcasts came after the presidential National Security Council (NSC) approved the measure at an emergency meeting held earlier in the day.

On Saturday, the North floated the balloons in retaliation against South Korean civic groups’ recent launch of balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets across the border.

The North has flown the rubbish-carrying balloons toward the South between May 28-29, and early last week.

“Although the measures we are taking may be difficult for the North Korean regime to endure, they will deliver messages of light and hope to the North Korean military and citizens,” the presidential office said in a release.




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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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