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South Korea strikes a line over military agreement with North Korea

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A South Korean soldier looks through trash that was carried by a balloon from North Korea. North Korea has sent lots of garbage balloons across the border this week, which they say is in response to North Korean defectors and activists sending regime-critical propaganda the other way. Photo: Im Sun-suk / Yonhap via AP / NTB

Of NTB | 03.06.2024 08:23:01

Policy: The agreement was concluded in 2018, but is now being scrapped as a result of North Korea recently sending hundreds of balloons with rubbish and faeces across the border.

All the way back in November, South Korea announced that it would partially cancel the agreement, then in response to North Korea launching what according to Western intelligence was a spy satellite.

South Korea has learned how disgusting it is and how much effort it takes to collect garbage after North Korea sent 15 tons of 3,500 balloons, North Korean Vice Defense Minister Kim Kang Il said in a statement given to state media KCNA.

According to South Korea, 700 balloons were sent.

This was stopped after a summit between the countries’ leaders in 2018.

South Korea believes the North Korean garbage balloons violate the armistice agreement between North and South Korea. The Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice, but no peace treaty. Thus, the two countries are technically still at war.

North Korea promised on Monday, rightly enough, not to send more garbage balloons over the neighboring country, but threatens to do so again if South Korea sends more pamphlets criticizing the regime the other way.

South Korea also warns of other countermeasures and threatens to resume playing propaganda against Kim Jong-un’s regime via large loudspeakers on the border.

North Korea, for its part, claims that the garbage balloons were a response to a propaganda campaign run by North Korean defectors and activists in South Korea. They regularly send balloons with pamphlets critical of the regime, food, medicine, money and USB sticks with K-pop music and South Korean films across the border.

(© NTB)

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