Human waste and old clothes in North Korea trash balloons

Parasites from human waste and defaced Hello Kitty clothing have been found in bags of rubbish carried by North Korean balloons into South Korea, officials say.

More than 1,500 waste-carrying balloons have been released by Pyongyang across the border since May, in retaliation for a leaflet campaign sent northwards by opponents of North Korean leader, Kim Kong Un.

Analysis of some of the balloon packages detected “roundworms, whipworms and threadworms” in the soil.

The chance of infection from the parasites in the packages is low, South Korea’s ministry of unification assured people.

Other items carried by the balloons included slashed “western” clothes that had been donated from the South – including items featuring Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, and Hello Kitty characters, according to Reuters news agency. There were also socks, clothes and heavily patched-up children’s clothes.

The waste sent by North Korea also revealed the country’s woeful economic state, and highlighted “the adversarial stance against South Korea”, a ministry official said.

The soil was probably infected with the parasites because human faeces was used instead of chemical fertilisers in the North, the ministry added.

North Korea says the balloons are retaliation for a propaganda campaign by North Korean defectors and South Korean activists who regularly send balloons the other way, carrying food, medicine, cash and leaflets criticising the North’s regime.

The two Koreas have recently stepped up their cross-border tit-for-tat propaganda war. As the north sent trash floating southward, the south has also been blasting pop songs and news items over the border from powerful loudspeakers.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here