North Korea Sends More Trash Balloons as Kim’s Sister Warns of ‘New Counteraction’

North Korea Sends More Trash Balloons as Kim’s Sister Warns of ‘New Counteraction’

North Korea has heightened tensions with South Korea by dispatching hundreds more balloons filled with trash towards its southern neighbour. This action follows Seoul’s reinstatement of loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts and its inability to halt activists from sending anti-Pyongyang messages northward using balloons.

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Trash-Filled Balloons and Psychological Warfare

Over the past few weeks, North Korea has been actively deploying balloons containing trash, including items like cigarette butts and toilet paper, across the border. Pyongyang views this as retaliation against the anti-regime propaganda disseminated by South Korean activists. Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, cautioned that if South Korea continues its “psychological warfare,” it will face additional consequences.


Kim’s Warning and South Korea’s Response

Kim Yo Jong warned that South Korea would endure continual embarrassment by having to clean up waste paper daily unless it ceases its propaganda activities. Seoul’s military confirmed that North Korea launched over 300 trash balloons overnight, but many were blown back into North Korean territory due to unfavorable winds. Nevertheless, approximately 50 balloons landed in South Korea.

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Escalating Tensions and Potential Ramifications

The situation between the two Koreas is escalating, with both sides engaging in provocative actions. Kim Dong-yub, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, cautioned that North Korea might resort to unconventional tactics, such as simulating a biological attack, to sow panic in the South. The back-and-forth balloon exchanges commenced in mid-May, violating the 2018 agreement between the two Koreas to cease all hostile acts.


Risks and Challenges Ahead

Both North and South Korea face hurdles in managing the escalating tensions. South Korea’s democratic system restricts its ability to curtail NGO balloon launches, while Pyongyang fears the dissemination of external information that could undermine the legitimacy of the Kim regime. The situation remains precarious, with the potential for further provocations and responses from both sides.


In summary, the recent escalation in balloon-related provocations underscores the fragile state of inter-Korean relations and the complexities of maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula.

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