Updated June 10th, 2024 at 09:58 IST

Pyongyang Sends Balloons Carrying Trash to South Korea

North Korea has launched approximately 330 balloons carrying bags of waste, of which about 80 have landed in South Korea.

Reported by: Digital Desk
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un | Image:AP
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Tensions between North and South Korea have flared again as North Korea sent hundreds of balloons filled with trash over the border, reigniting a tit-for-tat exchange triggered by South Korean activists. Since Saturday night, North Korea has launched approximately 330 balloons carrying bags of waste, of which about 80 have landed in South Korea, according to Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). The balloons contained waste paper and plastic, with no hazardous substances found.

This latest wave brings the total number of North Korean balloons landing in South Korea to around 1,060 since May 28, according to a CNN tally. South Korea’s National Security Council held an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss responses to these provocations. North Korea’s state media KCNA reported last week that Pyongyang had sent a total of 3,500 balloons carrying 15 tonnes of trash to South Korea. Vice Defense Minister Kim Kang Il stated this was part of their ongoing campaign against their southern neighbour.

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How has South Korea responded?

In response, South Korea resumed loudspeaker broadcasts into North Korea on Sunday afternoon, a psychological warfare tactic previously halted after a 2018 summit between the two countries. These broadcasts are designed to inform North Korean soldiers and citizens about the reality of their regime, the development of South Korea, and Korean culture, the JCS said.

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The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Kim Yo Jong, warned of further actions if South Korea continued with the broadcasts and leaflet scattering. "If the ROK simultaneously carries out the leaflet scattering and loudspeaker broadcasting provocation over the border, it will undoubtedly witness the new counteraction of the DPRK," she said in a statement late on Sunday, using the official names of South and North Korea.

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Published June 10th, 2024 at 09:58 IST