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North Korea Sends Balloons with Trash Over Border, South Korea Responds

Wednesday, May 29, 2024 • Tamil Comments
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South Korea has blamed the North for sailing balloons across the highly secured border. The South has reacted to those vile and dangerous deeds. An on-site inspection and collection of devices made by the military explosives ordnance disposal unit and chemical and biological response team called on citizens to avoid them and report suspicious devices.

The Joint Chief of Staff reported about 260 balloons, with most of them landing on the ground by Wednesday afternoon. A photo released showed inflated balloons amid rubbish and animal-feces-filled plastic bags. One bag said "excrement."

The presidential office in Seoul has stated that North Korea may be "testing" South Korea's response in the event that it has to deal with previously unusual activity. That comes in sharp contrast to the Southern defectors who send balloons north with anti-Pyongyang leaflets, small radios, food supplies, and K-pop USB sticks.

Those were the same balloons that had already provoked protests from North Korea. On Sunday, a North Korean deputy minister of defense called it "scattering dirty things" and a "dangerous provocation," with the threat of "mounds of waste paper and filth" in return. In the early Wednesday attack, North Korea attempted to jam South Korean GPS signals, but the South detected no damage.

Seoul's defense ministry did not have an immediate comment. After the North tried to fire down balloons in 2014, South Korea moved to thwart such activities. A South Korean court ruled that a ban on launching balloons in 2021 was unlawful, citing free expression.

Balloon tactics are less risky than overt military measures and harder to oppose without increasing military tensions, according to Peter Ward, a research fellow at the Sejong Institute.

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