North Korea Resumes Trash Balloon Barrage Towards South Korea

North Korea Resumes Trash Balloon Barrage Towards South Korea

Tensions between North Korea and South Korea have escalated as North Korea resumed its campaign of sending trash-filled balloons across the border into South Korean territory. This aggressive move comes amidst a tit-for-tat exchange of balloon barrages between the two neighboring countries.

Since the recent barrage began late on Saturday, Pyongyang has launched approximately 330 balloons carrying bags of trash into South Korea, according to Seoul’s military. While around 80 balloons have landed in South Korean areas, no ongoing airborne threats have been identified as of Sunday, stated the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a statement.

“Our analysis indicates that the balloons contained waste paper and plastic, posing no harmful substances to safety,” the statement reassured. Despite the lack of immediate danger, the provocative act has drawn condemnation from Seoul officials, including Seoul mayor Oh Se-hoon, who described it as “another low-class provocation” in a Facebook post.

The ongoing balloon exchanges have become a contentious issue, with South Korean activists previously launching balloons containing K-pop music, dollar bills, and anti-Kim Jong Un propaganda towards North Korea. In response, Pyongyang retaliated by sending balloons filled with cigarette butts and toilet paper across the border in early June.

The recent escalation in balloon activities follows new launches by South Korean activists, prompting North Korea to reignite its campaign despite temporarily halting it earlier. South Korean activist groups, such as “Fighters for Free North Korea,” and defector organizations have been actively participating in these balloon launches, sending various materials including leaflets condemning Kim Jong Un’s regime, thumb drives with K-pop music, and radios.

In response to these provocations, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has taken a firm stance, suspending a 2018 military agreement with North Korea. This decision allows South Korea to resume live fire drills and loudspeaker propaganda campaigns along the border, signaling a shift towards a more assertive approach in dealing with North Korean provocations.

The escalating tensions have prompted Seoul’s National Security Council to convene discussions on Sunday to address the implications of the recent balloon launches and potential responses to safeguard national security interests.

The resumption of trash balloon barrages from North Korea into South Korea has reignited tensions between the two countries, highlighting the fragile nature of inter-Korean relations and the ongoing challenges in managing cross-border provocations. As diplomatic and security discussions unfold, the region remains on alert for further developments in this escalating situation.

Sources By Agencies

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