North Korea Drops Hundreds of Balloons Filled With Trash, Manure Into South Korean Border

By Madz Dizon

May 29, 2024 08:43 AM EDT

North Korea Drops Hundreds of Balloons Filled With Trash, Manure Into South Korean Border
Balloons carrying anti-North Korea leaflets are released by North Korean defectors, now living on South Korea, on March 26, 2016 in Paju, South Korea. The leaflets also denounce the North Korean government for human rights situation.
(Photo : Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

According to local media reports on Wednesday, North Korea has been sending balloons filled with trash, toilet paper, and suspected animal feces into the South.

Seoul's military has strongly criticized Pyongyang for their actions, describing them as "low class."

North Korea Allegedly Sends Balloons With Trash, Manure to South

The South Korean military has observed a significant influx of balloons coming from the North since Tuesday night (May 28). 

By Wednesday morning (May 29), more than 150 of these balloons had been detected, as reported by the country's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

Images released by the JCS depict plastic bags being transported by two large balloons, causing broken packages to scatter plastic scraps, sheets of paper, and what seems to be dirt across streets and sidewalks.

According to the JCS, the balloons currently hold substances that are considered to be "filth and garbage". 

According to CNN, government agencies are currently examining the contents, and the military is working together with the United Nations Command.

Local authorities have issued warnings to residents in the northern Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces regarding the presence of unidentified objects. 

They have strongly advised against engaging in outdoor activities. According to the JCS, the packages pose a potential threat to residential areas, airports, and highways.

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Border Tensions Rise as North Reacts to Balloon Campaigns

North Korea has expressed strong displeasure over the balloons released by South Korean activists. 

These balloons not only contain data regarding the democratic society in the South but also include USB memory sticks with K-pop music videos.

Previous administrations in South Korea have made efforts to prevent activists from carrying out these campaigns, claiming that they did not contribute to peace and posed a risk to the safety of residents near the border.

In 2021, a ban on balloon launches was deemed unconstitutional by a top court due to its infringement on freedom of speech.

The two Koreas' formidable militaries confront each other along the military border, with North Korea frequently issuing menacing threats towards its neighbor.

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