North Korea sends balloons carrying excrement to the south

    North Korea sent hundreds of balloons carrying trash and excrement across the heavily fortified border to South Korea on Wednesday, calling them "gifts of sincerity", prompting an angry response from Seoul, which said the act was base and dangerous.

    The World News Herald
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    Photographs released by the South Korean military showed inflated balloons with plastic bags tied to them. Other images appeared to show trash strewn around collapsed balloons, with the word “excrement” written on a bag in one photograph.

    By Wednesday afternoon, more than 260 balloons had been detected, and most of them have landed on the ground, carrying animal faeces and rubbish, the South Korean military said in a statement, calling the act “base and dangerous”.

    North Korea said the balloons were in retaliation for an ongoing propaganda campaign by North Korean defectors and activists in South Korea, who regularly send inflatables containing anti-Pyongyang leaflets, alongside food, medicine, money and USB sticks loaded with K-pop music videos and dramas across the border.

    Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister and a powerful ruling party official, issued a statement in state media KCNA, slamming Seoul as “shameful, brazen” for criticising the balloons while defending its citizens’ own freedom of expression.

    The North’s balloons were “gifts of sincerity” for South Koreans who “cry for freedom of expression”, she said, pledging to send dozens of times the number she said South Korea had sent into its territory.

    An official at Seoul’s presidential office said the North might want to “test” the South’s reaction but vowed to respond calmly.


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