North Korea Sends Balloons Carrying Trash Into South Korea

May 31, 2024

All responsibility arising from the North Korean balloons lies entirely with North Korea, and we sternly warn North Korea to immediately stop its inhumane and low-level actions.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) referring to North Korea sending floating bags of filth and garbage across the border and into South Korea using balloons.

Why It Matters: North Korea, one of four U.S.-designated state sponsors of terrorism, sent more than 250 balloons carrying trash across the border into South Korea this week, reflecting increased tensions between the two nations. This type of action is not foreign to either nation.

In the past, activists in South Korea have sent balloons to North Korea, dropping items like food, USB drives containing Korean pop music and leaflets condemning North Korean leadership. This week’s apparent retaliation by North Korea occurred after South Korean activists reported sending balloons across the border in early May. Several years ago, balloons from North Korea floated into South Korea, carrying what Seoul, South Korea police described ashazardous biochemical substances.

Something To Consider:

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister described the recent balloons asgifts of sincerity.
  • According to the CIA, “As of 2024, despite slowly renewing cross-border trade with China, North Korea remained one of the world’s most isolated countries and one of Asia’s poorest.”
  • A Professor at South Korea’s Dong-A University, Kang Dong-wan, said the North Korean government may feel threatened from its citizens’ increased attempts to view content smuggled into the country from South Korea, claiming “Foreign content from South Korea has become the primary threat for the Kim regime.” The Wall Street Journal reports Dong-wan has interviewed “North Korean escapees.”

Read More: North Korea drops trash balloons on the South (BBC)

Kim Jong Un’s Balloon Barrage: Bags of Excrement Fly Into the South (The Wall Street Journal)

Photo Credit: South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff via The Wall Street Journal

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas