North Korea sends 260 balloons carrying trash & animal poop over South Korea border

The furthest reported sighting of the balloon was in the city of Geochang, which is 218 kilometres south of Seoul.

Keyla Supharta | May 30, 2024, 10:35 AM



North Korea has flown more than 200 balloons carrying trash and animal excrement across the demilitarised zone and into South Korea, Yonhap reported, citing the Korean military.

The fallen balloons were reported to be carrying litter such as plastic bottles, batteries, shoe parts, and animal excrement.

The military is collecting these objects for detailed examination.

Around 260 balloons detected

Around 260 balloons had been detected by Wednesday (May 29) afternoon, with most having fallen to the ground, Reuters reported, citing the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

Some of these balloons were found in a rice field, a plastic greenhouse, and between utility pole cables.

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The furthest reported sighting of the balloon was in the city of Geochang, which is 218 kilometres south of Seoul.

Screenshot via Google Map.

According to the JCS, this is the most number of balloons North Korea has sent into the South, in comparison to previous cases between 2016 and 2018.

The JCS criticised the sending of balloons, claiming that it "violate[s] international law" and "seriously threaten[s] our people's (South Korean) safety".

"(We) sternly warn North Korea to immediately stop its inhumane and vulgar act," said JCS.

The JCS has also advised residents to report to nearby military or police authorities should they chance upon the balloons and warned them against touching the objects.

It is also working with the police and the government to come up with safety measures, and is cooperating with the U.S.-led UN Command supervising activities in the demilitarised zone separating the North and the South.

"Dangerous provocation"

The trash-carrying balloons were sent after the North warned that it would respond to anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets sent by South activists.

According to BBC, South Korean activists have also sent balloons carrying cash, prohibited media content, and Choco Pies, a popular South Korean snack banned in North Korea.

North Korean defectors and South Korean activists have regularly sent balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets.

Kim criticised these propaganda leaflets, calling it a "dangerous provocation".

North Korea has repeatedly criticised and called for a stop to the leafleting campaign, after South Korea's Constitutional Court in September 2023 scrapped a 2020 law that criminalised the sending of anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets to North Korea.

Top image via Naver.