North Korea sends balloons 'filled with toilet paper and rubbish' over border as propaganda war continues

The balloons are intended to pop in mid-air, dropping propaganda leaflets and any other contents to the ground

North Korea has reportedly been dropping used toilet paper, cigarette butts and rubbish into South Korea inside balloons filled with propaganda leaflets.

The Korea JoongAng Daily reported that the material denounced the US and called Park Geun-hye, the South Korean President, “political filth”.

Military and police sources told the newspaper the latest round of balloons started arriving on 12 January, after South Korea resumed making its own propaganda broadcasts over the border in response to its neighbour’s test on a supposed hydrogen bomb.

Airborne leaflets torment North Korea

Catchy K-pop songs and announcements criticising Kim Jong-un’s totalitarian regime have continued to broadcast their message.

Activists and authorities on both sides have used balloons to float messages across the Demilitarised Zone for years, although they are regularly stopped as part of negotiations nad peace agreements.

Police have been collecting the latest packages falling in South Korea and analysing them in cast they contained “hazardous biochemical substances”. 

“In some of the bundles, there were cigarette butts, tissues and daily waste,” a South Korean police official told the Korea JoongAng Daily

“Between the leaflets, there was lots of filth difficult to describe in words.”

The Koreas officially stopped psychological warfare as part of tension-reduction measures in 2004 but the activity is expected to continue.

South Korean officials believe their broadcasts will demoralise front-line troops and residents in its rigidly-controlled neighbour but there are doubts in Seoul that the North Korean leaflets will have any impact on more affluent residents.

The border between the two countries is thought to be the most heavily-fortified in the world since the early 1950s civil war ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving them in a technical state of perpetual war. 

About 28,500 American troops are deployed in South Korea as deterrence against the North.

Additional reporting by PA

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