North Korea Bombards Southern Neighbor With Garbage

( – The mid-twentieth century war between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (ROK, or South Korea) ended with an armistice agreement in late July 1953. However, the countries never signed a formal peace treaty, meaning the countries are technically still at war.

For the most part, relations between the two countries haven’t involved combat operations. But, a few incidents have occurred, like the 2010 sinking of a South Korean ship after a North Korean submarine reportedly targeted the vessel with a torpedo.

However, North and South Korean officials have engaged in various saber-rattling tactics and other strategies to mock each other and undermine their respective national security efforts. Recent reports indicated that DPRK officials are attempting to provoke their southern rival using garbage.

North Korea Bombarding Its Southern Neighbor with Garbage?

Yep, you read that correctly. North Korean officials recently started airlifting garbage across its southern border in the wake of a failed surveillance rocket launch.

On May 29, CBS News published a report detailing the North Korean effort to provoke its southern neighbor. The article explained that DPRK officials launched hundreds of hot air balloons carrying bags of garbage into South Korean airspace.

The news agency reported that South Korea mobilized its military’s explosive and chemical response teams to recover debris and other objects scattered across various parts of the country.

The ROK’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed it found the remnants of roughly 260 North Korean balloons so far. Military officials also said they discovered some debris that appeared to be a timer, presumably used to detonate the trash bags in midair.

The Joint Chiefs accused North Korean officials of launching the balloons in retaliation against ROK activists who flew anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets across the border shortly after the DPRK failed to successfully launch a spy satellite.

Whoops! Another North Korean Failure

On May 27, the DPRK’s state-run Korean Central News Agency published a statement from North Korea’s National Aerospace Technology Administration acknowledging that “an incident occurred” shortly after officials launched a Malligyong-1-class military reconnaissance satellite.

The notice said a preliminary investigation indicated a failure in the launch rocket’s “oxygen + petroleum engine” triggered an explosion. Adding embarrassment to injury, NHK World News posted footage showing a bright object soaring across the night sky, then erupting in flames.

The Japanese broadcaster claimed it shot the video near the China-North Korea border at the same time North Korea said it launched its satellite.

News reports indicated that this incident marks the third time North Korean officials have failed to successfully launch spy satellites.

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