Sending garbage balloons: what to expect after Seoul completely suspends the inter-Korean military pact ?

Sending garbage balloons: what to expect after Seoul completely suspends the inter-Korean military pact ?

Cet accord de 2018 visait à réduire les tensions dans la péninsule notamment le long de la frontière. MAXPPP – JEON HEON-KYUN/POOL

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol suspended this Tuesday, June 4, 2024, the entirety of a military detente agreement concluded in 2018 with North Korea, a few days after the end of the agreement. Pyongyang sending hundreds of balloons filled with rubbish across the border.

President Yoon "has just approved the proposal to suspend the military agreement of September 19, 2018" effective immediately, his office said in a statement.

The agreement largely lapsed last year when South Korea decided to partially suspend it following North Korea's launch into orbit of a spy satellite.

Propaganda Mode

Its total suspension allows Seoul to resume live fire exercises and relaunch propaganda campaigns against the Northern regime via loudspeakers along the border, which have always aroused the ire of Pyongyang.

This mode of propaganda, which dates back to the Korean War (1950-53), is used by the South as retaliation following what it considers to be provocations North Koreans. It last used it in 2016, after Pyongyang's fourth nuclear test.

During these campaigns, Seoul uses huge megaphones to broadcast K-pop or anti-regime propaganda, in areas close to the demilitarized zone separating the two countries, who technically remain at war.

Signed when relations between Seoul and Pyongyang were better, the 2018 agreement aimed to reduce tensions on the peninsula, particularly along the border.

According to the National Security Council in Seoul, compliance with its terms still in force disadvantaged Seoul in terms of its ability to respond to threats of the type represented by the  balloons sent by its neighbor.

Balloons filled with trash

Last week, nearly a thousand balloons filled with trash, ranging from cigarette butts to animal excrement, were launched by Pyongyang towards its neighbor.

North Korea claimed to be doing so in retaliation for hostile propaganda sent to its territory by South Korean activists.

On Monday, an anti-Pyongyang organization revealed that it had sent about 2,000 USB sticks containing songs by South Korean Lim Young-woong, K-pop songs and music by balloon on May 10. K-drama series.

According to a UN report, Pyongyang adopted a law in 2020 allowing it to punish anyone possessing or disseminating a lot of media content from the South.

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