Hello Kitty, parasites: Inside North Korea trash balloons according to the South


SEOUL (Reuters): Among the trash that balloons carried over the border from North were articles printed with Hello Kitty characters, badly worn clothing, and soil containing traces of human faeces and parasites, South Korea said on Monday.

North Korea has flown balloons carrying trash since late May, with hundreds landing in South Korea. South Korea deployed military explosives units and chemical and biological warfare teams to inspect the objects.

The items also included clothes that had been donated from the South that were slashed and cut up, and general trash that appeared to be hastily collected, the South's Unification Ministry, which handles the North, said in a report.

North Korea has said the balloons were retaliation for a propaganda campaign by North Korean defectors and activists in the South who regularly send over balloons carrying food, medicine, money and leaflets criticising the North's leaders.

Parasites and human DNA were found in the dirt in some of the plastic bags, which shows it contained fertilizer that used human faeces, the ministry unification ministry said.

North Korea, which suffers a chronic food shortage, depended on South Korea for massive shipments of chemical fertilizer until such aid was suspended in 2007 as Pyongyang accelerated weapons development.

The trash contained worn items of clothing with Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and Hello Kitty characters as well as socks, gloves and children's clothes that had been heavily patched up, masks with fabric stitched by hand and two layers of shirts sewn together.

Late on Monday, South Korea's military said the North has launched balloons that appeared to carry trash. North Korea last week warned it would send more balloons carrying trash.

(Reporting by Jack Kim, Hyunsu Yim and Ju-min Park. Editing by Gerry Doyle) - Reuters

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!
   

Next In Aseanplus News

Asean news headlines as at 10pm on Thursday (July 18)
Philippines to develop airport on South China Sea island
Can Thailand continue its Olympic golden run in Paris?
Man charged over touching women inappropriately at Sentosa; others face separate molestation charges
Bangladesh students reject PM's olive branch after deadly protests
Scoot to start daily flight between Singapore and KL’s Subang Airport from September
HK stars Bob Lam and Oscar Leung open hotpot restaurant in KL
Concerns grow over rising violence against journalists in Indonesia following deadly arson attack
RM100 is not enough to penalise cyberbullying, says Home Minister
China investigators suspect construction work caused fire that killed 16 people in shopping mall

Others Also Read