Kim Jong Un sends balloons filled with garbage (and excrement) to South Korea

Kim Jong Un sends balloons filled with garbage (and excrement) to South Korea

BarcelonaSome of South Korea’s neighbors received “gifts” from their northern neighbors this week. Specifically, North Korea sent more than 260 balloons containing garbage bags to this country. It is Pyongyang’s response to various campaigns by South Korean organizations that send balloons and bottles loaded with propaganda against the Kim Jong-un regime, food, money, medicine and hard disks with K-pop music to North Korea.

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Debris balloons reached eight of South Korea’s nine provinces. “Soon there will be mountains of toilet paper and dirt spread all over South Korea and they will see how difficult it is to clean,” North Korean Deputy Defense Minister Kim Kang Il told state media on Sunday.

On Tuesday night, the South Korean military asked citizens in border areas to avoid “outside activities” and immediately inform the armed forces if they come across an “unidentified object.” According to the The New York TimesThe message sent directly to citizens’ cell phones caused some confusion, particularly due to the automatic translation into English of the notice that, rather than reporting the garbage-laden balloons, warned of a possible “air attack.”

North Korea’s “sincere gifts” to South Koreans, in the words of Kim Jong Un’s influential sister Kim Yo Jong, include fertilizer, toilet paper and batteries, among other waste. South Korean news agency Yonhap also reported that some of the balloons “had what appeared to be feces given their color and smell.”

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The South Korean military said in a statement that “such actions represent a clear violation of international law and a threat to the security of its people.” They added: “We call on North Korea to stop this dirty, anti-humanitarian operation.” For its part, the South Korean government described sending the balloons as a “test” to see the country’s reaction. “They wanted to check the role that psychological warfare and small-scale threats play in our country,” a government official told the media.

The exchange of balloons has been an ongoing propaganda strategy since the Korean War in the 1950s, and the two powers decided at a 2000 summit that they would tone down the propaganda and reaffirmed the agreement at the meeting, which was attended by former South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Kim Jong Un in 2018. Since then, North Korean defectors have continued to send propaganda and other materials to Pyongyang. In 2021, the South Korean government passed a law banning such shipments, but the Asian country’s Constitutional Court struck down the law last year.

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