South Korean military says 350 waste balloons detected from North Korea overnight as tensions flare

A balloon believed to have been sent by North Korea, carrying various objects including what appeared to be trash and excrement, is seen over a rice field at Cheorwon, South Korea, May 29, 2024.
Published June 25, 2024

South Korea spotted another 350 North Korean balloons “presumed” to be carrying waste on Monday, reigniting a tit-for-tat exchange as tensions on the Korean Peninsula continue to heighten.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said a suspected balloon was seen flying in northern Gyeonggi Province, which borders Seoul, around 9 p.m. local time (8 p.m. ET).

About 100 of the balloons fell inside South Korean regions, most of which were found in north of Gyeonggi Province and capital Seoul with “no hazardous substances” found so far, it said.

Seoul’s Metropolitan government later sent out a push notification alerting the city that a North Korean balloon had entered the sky over Seoul, adding that citizens should refrain from touching downed balloons and report any sightings to authorities.

The South Korean military has warned it could restart loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts at the border — which it had paused for the last few years — adding whether Seoul resumes the loudspeakers is “up to North Korea’s actions.”

“Our military is ready to immediately start anti-North Korea propaganda broadcasts, and will operate with flexibility according to the strategical and operational situation,” said the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday.

North Korea has sent over 1,000 balloons toward the South since May, which it calls reprisals for South Korean activists flying leaflets that contain materials critical of the regime of its leader Kim Jong Un.

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SOURCE: www.cnn.com

RELATED: South Korea slams North Korea’s fresh trash balloon launches and threatens loudspeaker broadcasts

The South Korean military said the North floated about 350 balloons across the border in its fifth such campaign since late May, in an apparent response to civilian leafleting.

A balloon presumably sent by North Korea on the Han River in Seoul, South Korea, on June 9.South Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff via AP
Published June 25,, 2024

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea threatened Tuesday to restart anti-Pyongyang frontline propaganda broadcasts in the latest bout of Cold War-style campaigns between the rivals after North Korea resumed its trash-carrying balloon launches.

On Monday night, North Korea floated huge balloons carrying plastic bags of rubbish across the border in its fifth such campaign since late May — an apparent response to South Korean activists flying political leaflets via balloons.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol called North Korea’s balloon activities “a despicable and irrational provocation.”

In a speech marking the 74th anniversary of the start of the 1950-53 Korean War, Yoon said Tuesday that South Korea will maintain a firm military readiness to overwhelmingly respond to any provocations by North Korea.

South Korea’s military said North Korea floated about 350 balloons in its latest campaign, about 100 of which eventually landed on South Korean soil, mostly in and around Seoul, the capital, which is about 25 to 30 miles away from the border. The military said the trash carried by the North Korean balloons was mostly papers and that no hazardous items were found.

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SOURCE: www.nbcnews.com

RELATED: Here’s what South Korea says was inside North Korea’s trash balloons

A balloon, believed to have been sent by North Korea, is seen over a rice field at Cheorwon in South Korea. (Reuters: Yonhap)
Published June 25, 2024

Parasites from human faeces, articles printed with Hello Kitty characters and defaced Western clothing were found in the bags of garbage carried by North Korean balloons into the South, says Seoul.

In recent weeks, Pyongyang has sent more than 1,000 trash-carrying balloons across the border in retaliation for leaflets sent northwards by activists opposed to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

South Korea deployed military explosives units and chemical and biological warfare teams to inspect the objects.

An analysis of the contents of some 70 of the balloons found that they contained soil in which “numerous parasites, such as roundworms, whipworms and threadworms” were detected, South Korea’s ministry of unification said in a statement.

This is likely because human faeces were used in the soil instead of chemical fertilisers, it added.

The statement said there was “no risk of land pollution (or) infectious diseases” from the balloons, as the volume of soil sent was relatively low.

The two Koreas have been locked in a tit-for-tat “balloon war”, with an activist in the South confirming last week that he had floated more balloons carrying propaganda leaflets towards the North.

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SOURCE: www.abc.net.au

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