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North Korea suspends sending trash balloons to South Korea

North Korea suspends sending trash balloons to South Korea North Korea has announced that it is suspending the sending of trash-filled air balloons to South Korea (photo: Getty Images)

North Korea has announced its intention to stop sending air balloons with trash across the border to its southern neighbor. However, Pyongyang has promised to resume this practice if leaflets from South Korea are sent by air again, according to Reuters.

It is noted that North Korea has already managed to send 15 tons of trash in this way using 3500 air balloons.

According to North Korean Vice Minister of Defense Kim Kang Il, the South has gained enough experience of how unpleasant and how much effort it takes to collect trash, as mentioned in a statement from the North Korean state news agency KCNA.

Meanwhile, Seoul has threatened to take intolerable measures against North Korea for sending air balloons with trash across the border. These measures could include the use of propaganda broadcasts directed at North Korea.

After a meeting of South Korea's National Security Council at the presidential Blue House, it was reported that the issue of responding to North Korea's sending of over 700 air balloons with trash across the heavily fortified border to provoke its neighbor was discussed.

Furthermore, the National Security Council condemned the simultaneous air pollution and GPS jamming as irrational acts of provocation.

Seoul does not rule out resuming the use of loudspeakers after discontinuing this practice in 2018 after a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a high-ranking official in the Blue House told reporters.

North Korea's trash airdrop

Earlier, North Korea stated that its air balloons were revenge for a propaganda campaign by North Korean defectors and activists in South Korea who regularly send leaflets, as well as food, medicine, money, and USB drives with music content, across the border.

Recently, North Korean air balloons with trash, such as cigarette butts, fabric, paper waste, and plastic, were discovered in the Seoul area, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea.

South Korean military officials noted that they are monitoring the launch point and conducting aerial reconnaissance to track and collect the air balloons, which are suspended under large bags of trash.

Additionally, on Sunday, South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik told his American counterpart Lloyd Austin at a conference in Singapore that the air balloons violated the ceasefire agreement.

Both officials confirmed a coordinated response to any threats and provocations from North Korea.

Relations between the two Koreas

After the end of the Korean War in 1950-1953 with an armistice, not a peace treaty, democratic South and communist North technically remain at war.

Seoul is an ally of Western countries, including the US, and conducts regular military exercises with American troops in South Korea. Meanwhile, Pyongyang is developing missile and nuclear technologies, which, according to Seoul and Washington, violate UN resolutions.

It should be noted that yesterday it became known that North Korea has again sent new air balloons with trash to South Korea.