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South Korean Activists Defy Warning And Fly Balloons Criticising Kim Jong Un Into North Korea

North Korea, South Korea, balloons, Kim Jong Un

A South Korean activist group said it had flown balloons into North Korea carrying leaflets. The leaflets criticised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. They come days after Pyongyang sent thousands of balloons carrying trash in the other direction over the border.

North Korean defector Park Sang-hak said his group, Fighters For Free North Korea had launched 10 balloons from the border town of Pocheon. The balloons had 200,000 flyers, 5,000 USB sticks containing K-pop videos and dramas, and 2,000 $1 notes.

North Korean defectors and activists in South Korea have for decades released balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets and aid parcels across the frontier.

Park’s latest campaign comes after North Korea sent 3,500 balloons carrying 15 tons of trash into the south. The balloons also carrying excrement has sparked tensions in border towns. It has prompted Seoul to suspend a 2018 inter-Korean military pact and resume military activities around the border.

Park showed images of one leaflet consisting of a photograph of Kim and his sister with a note that said. “The enemy of the people Kim Jong Un sent filth and trash to the people of the Republic of Korea, but we defectors send truth and love to our North Korean compatriots.”

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After Seoul warned of restarting blaring loudspeakers along the border, Pyongyang said it would stop sending trash balloons. However, it pledged to resume the practice if anti-North Korea leaflets arrived again.

South Korea’s government said it was monitoring the issue of sending leaflets over the border. It however noted that the practice was protected by a ruling on freedom of speech.

The two Koreas are still technically at war after their 1950-53 war ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. The North has long denounced defectors as “human scum.”

With inputs from Reuters