South Korea resumes loudspeaker broadcasts as more trash balloons arrive from North

South Korean soldiers inspect loudspeakers before installing them near the inter-Korean border, in this recent photo. The South Korean government decided, Sunday, to resume loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts along the border in response to North Korea’s recent launches of trash-carrying balloons. Courtesy of Joint Chiefs of Staff

The South Korean government decided, Sunday, to resume loudspeaker broadcasts along the inter-Korean border in response to North Korea’s recent launches of trash-carrying balloons.

Hours after the decision, the military announced that it had aired messages — presumably critical of the North Korean regime — across the border. However, it declined to provide details on the psychological warfare broadcasts, such as their timing, location and delivery methods.

The presidential office convened a National Security Council emergency meeting led by National Security Adviser Chang Ho-jin to discuss ways to respond to Pyongyang’s latest balloon campaign on Saturday, which was the third of its kind since late May.

“We will install loudspeakers against North Korea and resume the broadcasts today. The measures we are taking may be difficult for the North Korean regime to endure, but they will deliver messages of light and hope to the North Korean military and citizens,” the presidential office said in a statement.

“We make it clear that all responsibility arising from tensions between the two Koreas lies entirely with North Korea. The government will maintain a firm readiness posture against any provocations from North Korea,” it added.

A senior official at the presidential office said the government cannot stay silent over North Korea’s actions that are causing confusion and social anxiety.

“Even if the contents of the trash balloons are not fatal, it leaves us with no choice but to take strong action because it could have a psychological impact on the public,” the official said.

North Korea sent a third wave of trash balloons toward the South on Saturday night, six days after it vowed to resume such a campaign if civic groups in the South launch balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets to the North.

North Korea resumed its sending of such balloons late Sunday, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

The balloon campaign comes just days after several North Korean defectors’ groups in the South, including Fighters for Free North 토토 Korea and Gyeoreul Unification Solidarity, sent propaganda leaflets toward the North on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

“We have detected about 330 balloons carrying trash coming from North Korea, and around 80 of them made it into South Korea. Plastic and paper waste were among the contents of the balloons, but no hazardous substances were discovered,” the JCS said.

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