North Korea sent balloons carrying garbage, toilet paper and animal waste to the South . South Korean media have given wide coverage to images of these white balloons carrying bags of garbage and what appears to be excrement.

Kim Jong Un had in some way announced the singular action , warning last weekend that "heaps of waste and dirt" would soon be scattered "in the border areas and inside South Korea."

«Unidentified objects were found in the Gyeonggi-Gangwon border area, believed to be North Korean propaganda leaflets. The military is implementing measures, citizens should refrain from all outdoor activities, not come into contact with unknown objects and report them to the nearest military base or the police ,” South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

These acts by Pyongyang, he added, «clearly violate international laws and seriously threaten the security of our people. We call on the North to immediately cease its low-level actions ."

Since the Korean War (1950-1953) ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, the North and South remain technically at war, separated by a heavily fortified border that includes the Demilitarized Zone. South Korean activists sometimes release balloons carrying propaganda leaflets against the North Korean government and money for people living north of the border . These shipments have long drawn Pyongyang's ire, perhaps because it fears the influx of outside information into this tightly controlled society poses a threat to power.

Pyongyang has sent propaganda balloons across the border before, notably in 2016, but this case is a little different, Cheong Seong-chang of the Sejong Institute told AFP. “Bags full of toilet paper, waste and Chinese batteries were found,” he said. Furthermore, according to witnesses, given the characteristic smell emanating from the bags, it is probable "that they also sent excrement, probably from animals". It is, he added, "a message to South Korea. Like the South, North Korea can also send propaganda."


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