NewsNorth Korea sends garbage balloons, disrupts GPS signals in South

North Korea sends garbage balloons, disrupts GPS signals in South

Approximately 600 balloons with trash and feces flew over South Korea from the North.
Approximately 600 balloons with trash and feces flew over South Korea from the North.
Images source: © PAP | YONHAP

5:38 AM EDT, June 2, 2024

The military in Seoul reported on Sunday that North Korea sent approximately 660 balloons filled with garbage bags to South Korea. This is the latest such incident this week.

The bags attached to the balloons, which flew over the military demarcation line separating the two Koreas from 8 PM on Saturday and fell in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province, contained cigarette butts, paper, and plastic bags, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement cited by the Yonhap news agency.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Pyongyang sent around 290 balloons with garbage and feces to the South, following threats of "retaliatory action" for the distribution of leaflets targeting the regime in North Korea by activists from South Korea.

The South Korean military advised citizens not to touch objects and to report their findings to the authorities.

Pyongyang jams GPS signal

It was also confirmed that the North disrupted the GPS signal near the western maritime border for four consecutive days.

In light of such actions by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, the National Security Council in Seoul stated on Sunday that it would consider resuming the broadcast of propaganda through loudspeakers set up on the border with North Korea.

Broadcasting propaganda at total volume through loudspeakers lasted until 2004 when tensions between the two countries were reduced under the initiative of then-South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung. Yonhap recalls that this campaign was temporarily resumed in 2010, 2015, and 2016 following provocations by the North.

The relations between the Koreas are currently seen as the worst in decades. North and South Korea have formally been at war for over 70 years, as the armed conflict from 1950-1953 ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

At the end of December last year, Kim ordered the acceleration of preparations for a "war that can start at any moment." He condemned the "persistent and uncontrolled crisis," which he claimed was caused by Seoul and Washington during their joint military exercises in the region.

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