North Korean balloons ‘supposedly’ carrying rubbish have been spotted in South Korea as tensions flare

Yonhap News Agency/Reuters/Archive

A balloon believed to have been sent by North Korea, carrying various objects including what appears to be garbage and excrement, appears over a rice field in Cheorwon, South Korea, May 29, 2024.


North Korean Balloons “supposedly” carrying rubbish were spotted in South Korea on Monday, reigniting a tit-for-tat as tensions continue to rise on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it was a suspected balloon It was seen flying into North Gyeonggi Province, which borders Seoul, around 9pm local time (8pm ET). The Seoul Metropolitan Government later sent out an immediate notice alerting the city that a North Korean balloon had entered the skies of Seoul, adding that citizens should refrain from touching dropped balloons and report any sightings to authorities.

North Korea sent More than 1000 balloons towards the South since last May, which it describes as an act of retaliation due to South Korean activists distributing leaflets containing materials criticizing the regime of its leader Kim Jong Un.

On Thursday, a South Korean advocacy group launched 20 large balloons carrying thousands of anti-North Korea propaganda leaflets and USB sticks with South Korean entertainment toward North Korea. And one day later, on Friday, Kim Yoo JungThe powerful sister of the North Korean leader has warned of “trouble” ahead.

“When you do something you were clearly warned not to do, it’s natural to find yourself dealing with something you didn’t have to do,” she said.

South Korean The ministry said that analysis of North Korean balloons sent between late May and early June revealed parasites in the soil of the balloons, which “possibly originated from human feces,” noting the presence of “human genes” in the soil.

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The analysis found roundworms, whipworms and larvae as well as other waste, such as cloth and waste paper, the ministry said, adding that there was no risk of contamination or infectious diseases from the soil analyzed.

The balloons also carried damaged clothing from a South Korean brand, indicating “hostility toward South Korean goods,” as well as imitation clothing of Disney characters, according to the ministry.

Kristina Kormilitsyna/Sputnik/AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands after a signing ceremony for the new partnership in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.

The latest balloon launch comes as tensions rise on the Korean Peninsula, and diplomacy between the two Koreas remains at an impasse. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a defense agreement with North Korea last week, as talks on denuclearization efforts faltered, and Kim pledged to do so. Pledge to expand His country’s nuclear arsenal and threatened to use it against the South.

Meanwhile, a US Navy aircraft carrier has arrived in South Korea during the Weekend Before trilateral exercises with South Korea and Japan in waters near the Korean Peninsula. This is the latest in a series of US military moves aimed at emphasizing… Washington’s “firm” commitment to its ally in South Korea.

US and South Korean officials signed a new memorandum of understanding on the exchange and analysis of diplomatic information on Monday, according to the South Korean Foreign Ministry.

Japanese, South Korean and US officials also held a three-way call where they issued a statement Joint statement She described deepening security cooperation between Russia and North Korea as a matter of “grave concern” for those seeking to maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula.

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“The United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan condemn in the strongest possible terms the deepening military cooperation between the DPRK and Russia, including continued arms transfers from the DPRK to Russia that prolong the suffering of the Ukrainian people, violate numerous UN Security Council resolutions, and threaten stability in both Northeast Asia and Europe,” the statement said.

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