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    “North Korea Launches 600 Additional Trash-Laden Balloons Across South Korean Border”


    North Korea Sends 600 Trash-Filled Balloons into South Korea, Escalating Tensions

    In a recent provocative move, North Korea has sent another wave of 600 balloons filled with trash across the border into South Korea, as reported by the South’s military on Sunday. This action, while not in violation of UN sanctions, has drawn strong criticism from South Korea, labeling it as “irrational” and “low-class.”

    The trash-filled balloons contained a variety of waste, including cigarette butts, scraps of paper, fabric pieces, and plastic. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) advised the public to stay away from the debris, although they confirmed that no hazardous substances were found in the trash.

    Since Tuesday, approximately 900 balloons have been launched by Pyongyang, with the latest batch beginning to arrive late Saturday. The balloons are landing in northern provinces of South Korea, including Seoul and Gyeonggi, affecting nearly half of the country’s population.

    South Korea’s National Security Council is set to meet to discuss a response strategy, which may include resuming loudspeaker propaganda campaigns along the border. This tactic has been used in the past to broadcast anti-Kim propaganda into North Korea, eliciting strong reactions from Pyongyang.

    The balloon campaign is not a new phenomenon. Activists in South Korea have also floated their own balloons across the border, carrying leaflets, cash, rice, and even USB thumb drives loaded with Korean dramas. However, this recent escalation by North Korea has raised concerns about a potential escalation in tensions between the two Koreas.

    In response to the balloons, Pyongyang has described them as “sincere gifts” and retaliation for the anti-North propaganda balloons sent into their territory. Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, defended the action as an exercise of freedom of expression, mocking South Korea for complaining about the balloons.

    The history of propaganda and provocations between the two Koreas has sometimes led to larger conflicts. In 2018, both sides agreed to cease all hostile acts, including the distribution of leaflets. However, tensions have resurfaced, culminating in this recent trash balloon campaign and potential retaliatory actions from South Korea.

    Analysts have also raised concerns about North Korea’s weapon testing, possibly for deployment in Ukraine via Russia. South Korea’s defense minister has reported that Pyongyang has shipped around 10,000 containers of arms to Moscow in exchange for satellite technology.

    Sources By Agencies

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