North Korea Sends Poop Balloons Over South Korea

( – North Korea sent more than 260 balloons filled with waste material into South Korea on Wednesday, May 29 in an apparent act of retaliation against South Korean activists. Kim Kang Il, North Korea’s minister of defense, said that South Korean authorities would soon find out “how much effort is required to remove” such balloons.

Despite the introduction in 2020 of a law forbidding such activities, South Korean activist groups are known to send balloons over the North Korean border. They often include USB sticks with South Korean media content, food products, and anti-Pyongyang leaflets in an effort to encourage defection or rebellion. The ballons sent from North Korea, however, contain human excrement, used cigarettes, and dirty diapers. Kim Yo Jong, sister to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, called her country’s balloons “a gift of sincerity” to those protestors in the south who concern themselves with issues such as “freedom of expression”.

South Korean authorities have condemned the waste-filled balloons as a “violation of international law” and have issued warnings to their northern neighbor to refrain from sending any more. Warnings were issued to residents living near the border and around the greater Seoul area to remain indoors on Wednesday, and not to approach the white plastic ballons. Instead, residents were advised to file a police report should they see any such “unidentified object”. Specialist military units trained in biological warfare and explosive devices were deployed to inspect and dispose of the balloons safely. By the end of Wednesday, most of the ballons had landed, some of them having already fallen apart and released their unsavory contents.

Kim Yo Jong appeared to mock Seoul in her statement on the balloons, saying that she did not know why they would make such a “big deal” out of the balloons. She warned that when her nation’s interests were “violated”, action would always be taken immediately. She also criticized recent joint military drills undertaken by South Korea and the U.S., which have increased in scale recently.

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