Home World Kim Jong-un humiliated as North Korea fails to stop 'balloon K-pop attack'

Kim Jong-un humiliated as North Korea fails to stop 'balloon K-pop attack'

South Korean activists have sent large balloons filled with US dollars, K-pop and leaflets criticising Kim Jong-un toward North Korea. Pyongyang has threatened to send even more balloons with poo across the border in response to the move.

Animosity between the north and south is escalating, with Seoul suspending a deal aimed at easing tensions with North Korea and preparing to resume frontline military activities.

Pyongyang had halted its flights of balloons carrying manure, but threatened to resume them if South Korean activists sent leaflets again.

A South Korean civilian group led by North Korean defector Park Sang-hak said it floated 10 balloons tied to 200,000 anti-Pyongyang leaflets, USB sticks with K-pop songs and South Korean dramas as well as one-dollar US bills from a border town on Thursday (June 6).

Park’s long-running balloon campaign has sparked angry protests from Pyongyang, which is wary of any outside effort to undermine Kim Jong Un’s rule. The North’s state media previously called Park “human scum without an equal in the world”.

After North Korea started launching hundreds of balloons at South Korea last week, Kim’s powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, said the campaign was meant to fulfil the North’s threat to carry out a tit-for-tat action against a South Korean leafleting. Observers say North Korea was referring to Park’s previous balloon activities in May.

Park said in a statement: “We sent the truth and love, medicines, one-dollar bills and songs. But a barbaric Kim Jong-un sent us filth and garbage and he hasn’t made a word of apology over that.

“Our group, the Fighters for Free North Korea, will keep sending our leaflets, which are the letters of truth and freedom for our beloved North Korean compatriots.”

North Korea’s balloon campaign was seen as a bid to cause division in South Korea over its conservative government’s tough policy on the North.

South Korean officials say they have no legal grounds to ban private citizens from flying balloons to North Korea, after the country’s constitutional court last year struck down a law criminalising such leafleting as a violation of free speech.

In reaction to the North’s balloon campaign, Seoul suspended in full a 2018 tension-easing agreement with North Korea. The suspension allows South Korea to restart live-fire exercises and anti-Pyongyang propaganda loudspeaker broadcasts at border areas.

Such actions are certain to enrage North Korea and prompt it to launch its own military response.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said in a Memorial Day speech in Seoul on Thursday: “Recently, North Korea carried out a despicable provocation that would make any normal country ashamed of itself.

“The government will never overlook the threat from North Korea. We will maintain an iron-clad readiness posture and respond to provocations resolutely and overwhelmingly.”

In an apparent show of force against North Korea on Wednesday, the United States flew a B-1B bomber over the Korean Peninsula for its first precision-guided bombing drill with South Korea in seven years.

North Korea has responded to such flyovers of advanced US aircraft in the past with provocative missile tests.

Since 2022, North Korea has aggressively intensified its weapons tests in what analysts call an attempt to expand its nuclear arsenal and wrest greater outside concessions when diplomacy resumes with the United States.


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