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North Korea flies balloons filled with garbage to South in tit-for-tat attack | Political news

South Korea condemns the “low-class” attack, which came amid tensions over Pyongyang’s failed satellite launch.

North Korea has sent hundreds of balloons filled with garbage and feces across its heavily fortified southern border.

The South Korean military released photos on Wednesday, some showing garbage strewn around collapsed balloons, and in one photo the word “excrement” was written on a bag. The North said the swarm containing toilet paper and suspected animal feces was in response to a South Korean propaganda campaign using balloons.

“We sternly warn the North to immediately cease its inhumane and low-class actions,” Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. The North’s actions “clearly violate international law and seriously threaten the security of our people,” he added.

Balloon trash possibly sent by North Korea to Seoul, South Korea
Garbage from a balloon sent by North Korea in Seoul, South Korea, May 29, 2024 (leaflet/Office of the President of South Korea via AP)

The Army’s Explosive Ordnance Munitions Unit and Chemical and Biological Warfare Response Team were dispatched to inspect and collect the objects. An advisory was issued warning residents to stay away and report any sightings to authorities.

South Korean authorities received advance warning of the attack. North Korean Vice Defense Minister Kim Kang Il issued a statement on Sunday warning that “piles of waste paper and garbage” would be sent to the South as part of a “tit-for-tat action” in response to the flying “dirty things.” to the north.

South Korean activists, often led by North Korean defectors, regularly sent balloons with leaflets containing messages critical of Pyongyang, and even USB flash drives with K-pop music videos in the other direction.

Pyongyang’s propaganda campaigns have long been infuriating, likely because of fears that the flow of outside information into a tightly controlled society could pose a threat to Kim Jong Un’s rule.

Previous South Korean governments tried to stop activists from conducting such campaigns, arguing that they did not contribute to peace and threatened the safety of residents near the border.

The 2021 balloon launch ban was later found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, which said it violated freedom of speech.


Since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, the two Koreas remain technically at war and are separated by a heavily fortified border.

Tensions rose again this week after Pyongyang’s failed satellite launch.

North Korea attempted to put a second spy satellite into orbit on Monday. In November, on its third attempt, the country managed to launch its first spy satellite, drawing international condemnation.

However, this week’s launch offer ended up exploding in the air.

In protest, Seoul conducted drills with fighter jets hours before the test.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un criticized the South’s “recklessness,” according to a Wednesday report by the Korean Central News Agency.