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

Balloons filled with trash and manure were launched again today, Saturday June 8, from North Korea to the south of the country. Seoul's military commands made this known. “North Korea is once again sending (suspicious) balloons carrying waste to the South,” the statement said, where people are also advised to refrain from touching the balloons if spotted and to report them. to the authorities. The sending of hot air balloons by Pyongyang, which began on the night of Tuesday May 28 to Wednesday May 29, has been going on for several days. The launches from the North reportedly began after southern activists sent hundreds of thousands of anti-communist leaflets, dollars and USB sticks with music and TV series from the sky. After the last launch, a few days ago, Kim Jong-un proposed to interrupt this activity which, in any case – the regime agency had clarified – was nothing other than a response “to the leaflets anti-communists sent to the North from the South. Korean activists. »

The suspension of the military agreement

On the other front, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol this week suspended the military agreement with the North signed in 2018 to reduce tensions at the 38th parallel in response to Pyongyang's balloons. The end of the pact with Pyongyang will allow Seoul to resume its exercises along the border, notably in the waters of the Yellow Sea, and to relaunch its propaganda campaigns by loudspeakers which exasperate the North, to the point that in the In the past, its military had threatened the use of artillery to destroy them if they had not been extinguished. Last year, South Korea's Constitutional Court struck down a law criminalizing the publication of anti-Pyongyang propaganda, calling it an unjustified restriction on freedom of expression. Experts say there is now no legal basis for the government to stop activists from sending balloons into North Korea. Kim Jong Un's powerful sister Kim Yo Jong mocked South Korea for complaining about trash balloons, saying North Koreans were simply exercising their freedom of speech.

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