North Korea sends balloons full of trash to South Korea (and even feces)

North Korea sends balloons full of trash to South Korea (and even feces)
North Korea sends balloons full of trash to South Korea (and even feces)

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INTERNATIONAL – Poisoned gift. North Korea sent balloons filled with trash, toilet paper and animal feces to the South, as local media reported on Wednesday (May 29), in an operation that did not fly high , according to the South Korean military.

Photos, widely shared by the South Korean media, and to be seen in the video at the top of the article, show white balloons carrying trash bags filled with trash and what appears to be feces. This weekend, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned that “mounds of waste and rubbish would soon be scattered across the border areas and in the interior” of South Korea.

“Unidentified objects, believed to be North Korean propaganda leaflets, have been identified in the Gyeonggi-Gangwon border area and the military is implementing measures”said the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

“Citizens must refrain from any outdoor activities. Do not come into contact with any unknown objects and report them to the nearest military base or the police”he declared in a press release sent to AFP.

Northern actions “clearly violate international laws and seriously threaten the security of our people”according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which says that some of the balloons contained apparent waste, which the army was in the process of verifying. “We call on the North to immediately cease its actions […] low level »he added.

Late in the night of Tuesday May 28 to Wednesday May 29, the province of Gyeonggi (northwest) sent an alert message calling on its residents to follow these same instructions.

Balloons and propaganda

Since the Korean War (1950-1953) ended in an armistice and not a peace treaty, North and South remain technically at war and are separated by a heavily fortified border including the demilitarized zone (DMZ).

South Korean activists sometimes release balloons carrying propaganda leaflets against North Korean rule and money intended for people living north of the border. These shipments have long aroused Pyongyang’s ire, possibly because it fears that an influx of outside information into this tightly controlled society could pose a threat to those in power.

Pyongyang has already sent propaganda balloons across the border, notably in 2016, but the current case is a little different, Cheong Seong-chang of the Sejong Institute told AFP.

Tensions between North and South rise

“Bags full of toilet paper, trash and Chinese batteries were found”he clarified. “Additionally, according to testimonies, given the “distinctive odor” that emanated from the bag, it is likely that they also sent feces, probably animal feces.”he added. “It is a message (…) addressed to South Korea: like the South, North Korea can also send propaganda”estimated Cheong Seong-chang.

Monday May 27, the launch of a spy satellite by Pyongyang failed but Seoul described this attempt as ” provocation “ and conducted maneuvers with fighter jets in the hours following the shooting in protest.

Kim Jong Un called Seoul’s response“reckless”reported the North Korean press agency KCNA on Wednesday May 29, estimating that “The current situation requires further strengthening war deterrence by all means and gradually developing the (North Korea) armed forces into a super powerful entity of absolute strength”. Neither the North nor the South seem ready to ease tensions.

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