North Korea Sends Over 200 Balloons Filled with Trash and Excrement to South Korea

North Korea Sends Over 200 Balloons Filled with Trash and Excrement to South Korea

In a retaliatory move, North Korea has launched more than 200 balloons filled with waste and excrement across the border into South Korea. This “tit-for-tat action” comes after Pyongyang accused Seoul of sending “dirty things” into the North, according to a report by Yonhap News Agency.

South Korea’s Response

The Joint Chiefs of Staff in South Korea condemned the act, calling it “inhumane and vulgar” and a clear violation of international law. They emphasized that such actions pose a serious threat to public safety. The military reported that several balloons crossed the border from Tuesday night to Wednesday, dispersing trash, including plastic bottles, batteries, shoe parts, and manure in various locations across South Korea. Residents have been advised not to touch the objects and to report any findings to the military or police.

Background of Tensions

This incident follows North Korea’s warning to send “mounds of wastepaper and filth” over the border in retaliation for what it described as South Korea’s provocation. Historically, North Korean defectors in South Korea have launched balloons carrying messages critical of Pyongyang. These balloons often include information about South Korea’s democratic system, the outside world, and pen drives with K-pop music.

Legislative Measures

In December 2020, South Korea banned the launching of propaganda leaflets into North Korea through balloons or river bottles. This move aimed to improve inter-Korean relations, addressing North Korea’s longstanding criticism of the practice. The amendment to the Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act prohibited scattering printed materials, goods, money, and other valuable items across the fortified border. The ban, which took effect three months later, imposes penalties of up to three years in prison or fines of 30 million won for violators.


The recent balloon incident underscores the ongoing tensions between the two Koreas and the challenges in managing their contentious relationship. Both sides have a history of provocative actions, and this latest exchange highlights the fragile nature of peace and diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula.

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