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N. Korea launches some 350 trash-carrying balloons overnight: Seoul military

June 25, 2024 - 10:01 By Yonhap

This file photo, taken Jun. 10 shows a balloon carrying trash sent by North Korea in a rice paddy in Incheon, just west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

North Korea has launched around 350 trash-carrying balloons toward South Korea overnight, Seoul's military said Tuesday, in what marked the fifth launch of its kind since late last month.

Some 100 balloons, mostly carrying scrap paper and waste, landed in Seoul and in the northern part of Gyeonggi Province, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a notice to reporters.

As of 9 a.m., there were no balloons floating in the air, while an analysis of retrieved balloons showed they did not contain toxic substance, the JCS said.

Seoul's military said it is ready to carry out loudspeaker broadcasts any time and warned the implementation of such psychological warfare would depend on North Korea's action.

The latest launch came after Kim Yo-jong, the influential sister of the North's leader, hinted Friday at sending more balloons in response to anti-Pyongyang leaflets launched by North Korean defectors in South Korea.

With the latest batch, North Korea is estimated to have launched nearly 2,000 trash-carrying balloons since May 28.

In response, South Korea blared anti-Pyongyang broadcasts through its border loudspeakers on June 9 for the first time in six years. But it switched off the loudspeakers the next day in an apparent bid to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control. (Yonhap)