The War of the Feces | North Korea “bombards” the South with garbage and dirt
Defence Redefined
Published on 29/05/2024 at 11:17

North Korea has dropped 90 balloons carrying propaganda leaflets and garbage in two South Korean border provinces, prompting authorities to warn residents to stay indoors.

South Korea’s military has warned citizens not to touch the white balloons and the plastic bags attached to them because they contain dirty waste and garbage.

The balloons found in Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces are now being analyzed by the relevant authorities. North and South Korea have both used balloons in their propaganda campaigns since the Korean War in the 1950s. 

The latest incident comes days after North Korea said it would retaliate for the frequent spreading of leaflets and other rubbish in border areas by activists in the South.

Late Tuesday, residents living north of the capital Seoul and in the border region received text messages from authorities asking them to refrain from outdoor activities. They were also asked to report to the nearest military base or police station if they spot an “unidentified object”.

Photos shared on social media show bags tied with string to white translucent balloons carrying toilet paper, dark-colored unspecified dirt, and batteries, among other contents.

The South Korean military condemned the act as a clear violation of international law.

Earlier this month, a South Korea-based activist group claimed to have sent 20 balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets and USB sticks containing Korean pop music and music videos across the border. 

Seoul’s parliament passed a law in December 2020 criminalizing the circulation of anti-Pyongyang pamphlets, but critics have raised concerns about free speech and human rights.

North Korea has also launched balloons southwards targeting leaders in Seoul. In one such launch in 2016, the balloons reportedly carried toilet paper, cigarette butts and trash. Seoul police described them as dangerous biochemicals at the time.

Also read: Korean Peninsula | High tensions between North and South Korea




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