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North Korea sends balloons filled with trash, waste into South

SEOUL, South Korea — Trash and propaganda are raining down on the Korean Peninsula.

It’s not the cross-border blockade the South Koreans feared, but the country’s military said Wednesday that its nuclear-armed neighbor launched more than 200 balloons across the border overnight carrying waste , bottles, old batteries, leaflets, fertilizers and other waste.

The balloons were found mainly in the border provinces of Gyeonggi and Gangwon, but were also seen hundreds of kilometers to the south in southern Gyeongsang.

South Korea sent an emergency government disaster alert, urging citizens to refrain from touching objects and report any further incidents to the military.

Response teams were dispatched to identify what exactly was in the balloons, which confirmed the presence of fertilizer. South Korea’s Defense Ministry told NBC News that no human waste was found, but said North Korea sent human waste by balloon in 2016.

North Korea often uses human feces as fertilizer.

Photographs released by the South Korean military showed inflated balloons anchored in plastic bags filled with trash.

Other images appeared to show trash strewn around collapsed balloons, with the word “excrement” written on a bag in one photograph.

According to Yonhap News Agency, This is the largest number of balloons from North Korea since similar incidents between 2016 and 2018.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry told NBC News that North Korea also disrupted GPS frequencies at the de facto maritime border between the two countries.

“These actions by North Korea violate international law and threaten the security of our people,” the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said, urging North Korea to immediately end its “inhumane and vulgar.”

The South Korean Defense Ministry released images of the balloons.South Korean Ministry of Defense / AFP – Getty Images

The blockade follows a warning from North Korea’s vice defense minister of “tit for tat action” after anti-Pyongyang leaflets were recently sent across the border by South Korean activists. Koreans.

In early May, Park Sang-hak, a North Korean defector turned human rights activist, sent 20 balloons carrying 300,000 leaflets condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The balloons were also filled with USB drives containing South Korean media such as K-pop and K-drama, as well as U.S. dollar bills.

“I wanted to let the North Korean people know that Kim Jong Un is the enemy of the Korean people,” Park told NBC News in a telephone interview Wednesday.

He added that he wanted to show people in the North what life was like in the South after the defection.

“They should know that Kim Jong Un is lying when he calls South Koreans America’s slaves, when in reality, North Koreans are Kim Jong Un’s slaves,” he said. .

Confrontation between the two neighbors has intensified in recent months, with Kim’s actions raising fears among some analysts that he may even be preparing to take military action.

Stella Kim reported from Seoul and Michael Fiorentino from London.

News Source : www.nbcnews.com
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