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North Korea launches ‘garbage war’ against South Korea, sends balloons carrying filth over the border in retaliation to balloons carrying leaflets

Visuals show that plastic bags were tied to the balloons that were flown by the wind from the north to the south. When the balloons fell to the ground, the plastic bags opened up, littering the streets and grounds with garbage and excrement.

Kim Jong Un ruled North Korea has added a new weapon to its arsenal to target South Korea, garbage and manure, carried by massive gas balloons. On Tuesday night, the South Korean military observed a large number of balloons arriving from the country’s northern neighbour, with an estimated 150 balloons arriving by Wednesday morning.

Visuals show that plastic bags were tied to the balloons that were flown by the wind from the north to the south. When the balloons fell to the ground, the plastic bags opened up, littering the streets and grounds with garbage and excrement. South Korean authorities called it a dangerous act. Reportedly, while most balloons landed, some were still floating in the air.

Photos show that while some garbage bags were tethered to two balloons, others were carried by a single balloon.

Following the ‘garbage attack’ by North Korea, the South Korean military’s explosives ordnance unit and chemical and biological warfare response team were deployed to inspect and collect the objects, and an alert was issued warning residents to keep away and report any sightings to authorities. The balloons examined so far contained “filth and garbage”, said the country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

“North Korea’s actions clearly violate international law and seriously threaten the safety of our citizens. All responsibility arising from the North Korean balloons lies entirely with North Korea, and we sternly warn North Korea to immediately stop its inhumane and low-level actions,” JCS said in a statement.

Responding to the development, North Korea’s vice defence minister issued a statement vowing to exercise “strong power for self-defence” and warned that “mounds of waste-paper and filth” would be sent to the South in response to its flying “dirty things” to the North.

According to North Korean state media KCNA, balloons carrying garbage were sent to South Korea in retaliation against South Korean activists sending balloons carrying leaflets and various other items to North Korea. Apart from leaflets with messages against the North Korean regime, the activists, many of originally from North Korea, also send food, medicine, radios and USB sticks containing South Korean news, television dramas and K-pop videos to the North.

Apart from balloons, the activists also use drones and bottles floating down the cross-border river to send such messages and items from South to North Korea.

Earlier South Korean govt had tried to stop activists to conduct such campaigns, and a ban on balloons was imposed in 2021. But a top court ruled it unconstitutional, saying the ban violated freedom of speech. Kim Kang Il, North Korea’s Vice Minister of National Defense, said recently that “scattering leaflets by use of balloons is a dangerous provocation that can be utilized for a specific military purpose.” He accused South Korea of using “psychological warfare” by scattering “various dirty things” near border areas, declaring that the North would take “tit for tat action.”

“Mounds of wastepaper and filth will soon be scattered over the border areas and the interior of (South Korea) and it will directly experience how much effort is required to remove them,” Kim said, according to state media KCNA. “When our national sovereignty, security and interests are violated, we will take action immediately.”

And carrying out the threats, North Korean govt send balloons carrying garbage and filth to South Korea. Now that South Korea has strongly reacted to it, the ‘garbage war’ may escalate further.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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