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Tensions rise at the 38th parallel: North Korea resumes launching garbage-filled balloons into the South

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Balloons filled with garbage and manure were launched again today, Saturday, June 8, from North Korea towards the south of the country. This was announced by the military leadership in Seoul. “North Korea once again launches (suspicious) balloons carrying garbage towards the south,” the statement said, and residents were advised to refrain from touching the balloons if they are spotted and to report them to the authorities. Pyongyang’s sending of hot air balloons has been continuing for days, which began on the night of Tuesday, May 28 and Wednesday, May 29. The launches would have begun from the North after activists from the South sent hundreds of thousands of anti-communist leaflets, dollars, USB sticks with music and TV series from the sky. After the latest launch a few days ago, Kim Jong Un offered to stop this activity, which in any case – as the regime’s agency defined it – was nothing more than a response “to anti-communist leaflets directed towards the North from the South.” Korean activists.”

Suspension of the military agreement

But on the other front, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol this week suspended the military agreement with the North signed in 2018 to reduce tension at the 38th parallel in response to Pyongyang’s balloons. Stopping the agreement with Pyongyang will allow Seoul to resume training along the border, especially in the waters of the Yellow Sea, and resume propaganda campaigns using loudspeakers that anger the North, to the point that its army has in the past threatened North Korea. Use artillery to destroy it if it is not extinguished. Last year, South Korea’s Constitutional Court overturned a law criminalizing the spread of anti-Pyongyang propaganda, describing it as an unjustified restriction on freedom of expression. Experts say there is now no legal basis for the government to prevent activists from sending balloons into North Korea. Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, mocked South Korea for complaining about garbage balloons, saying North Koreans were simply exercising their freedom of expression.

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