North Korea sends another batch of junk balloons to South Korea and Seoul responds

(CNN) — North Korea has again sent balloons filled with garbage to South Korea, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said, days after South Korean activists sent balloons containing K-pop and K-dramas on USB sticks to their neighbor.

The JCS said North Korea had launched about 330 balloons carrying garbage bags since Saturday night, 80 of which landed in South Korean territory.

An analysis of the balloons showed their contents included waste paper and plastic and found no safety hazards, South Korea's JCS said in a statement on Sunday.

According to CNN's tally, about 1,060 balloons from North Korea have reached the South Korean border since May 28.

Last week, Pyongyang said it sent a total of 3,500 balloons containing 15 tons of debris to its neighbors, state media KCNA reported, citing North Korean Vice Defense Minister Kim Kang Il.

North Korean Vice Defense Minister Kim Kang Il said the balloons were “definitely a response” to South Korea's years-long practice of sending balloons carrying anti-North Korean leaflets in the opposite direction.

Kim said last week that North Korea would “temporarily stop dumping trash on the border,” but on Thursday South Korean activists condemned the balloon delivery of hundreds of thousands of leaflets and 5,000 USB flash drives with K-pop to its northern neighbor. and K-dramas.

South Korea's JCS warned on Saturday night that North Korea was raising its suspected debris balloons and that the balloons could be heading south due to wind direction. He advised the public to be careful of falling objects, avoid contact with fallen balloons and report any balloons found to the nearest military base or the police.

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South Korea resumes megaphone transmission to North Korea

The South Korean military re-enacted a public address broadcast to North Korea on Sunday afternoon (local time), Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The emissions were the first in six years since the equipment was dismantled in 2018 after a summit between the two Koreas and occurred in response to North Korea sending hundreds of balloons filled with debris over its border.

North Korea insisted that North Korea was “fully responsible” for the current situation and that “petty actions such as sending up garbage balloons should immediately stop”.

He warned that whether the military would broadcast another message on the public address system would “totally depend on North Korea's actions.”

CNN's Mike Valerio in Seoul contributed to this report.

Esmond Harmon

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