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North Korea sent trash balloons to South Korea. Activists are sending balloons back with K-pop and K-dramas

Seoul, South Korea CNN —

South Korean activists sent balloons carrying K-pop and K-dramas on USB sticks to their northern neighbor on Thursday, days after North Korean balloons of trash and “filth” floated in the opposite direction.

The activist group Fighters for a Free North Korea (FFNK) released the giantballoons in the early hours of Thursday morning, with videos showingthem floating away, some dragging giant posters visible from afar while others carried smaller plastic packages.

Insidethe packages were 200,000 leaflets condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, 5,000 USB sticks containing South Korean music videos and television shows, and 2,000 one dollar bills, according to FFNK.

Groups such as FFNK have been sending these kinds of balloons for years, carrying items prohibited in the isolated totalitarian dictatorship – including food, medicine, radios, propaganda leaflets and pieces of South Korean news.

In May, North Korea responded by sending its own giant balloons back south – containing trash, soil, pieces of paper and plastic, and what South Korean authorities described as “filth.”

A balloon believed to have been sent by North Korea, carrying what appeared to be trash, seen in Incheon, South Korea, on June 2, 2024.

Pyongyang claimed to have sent a total of 3,500 balloons carrying 15 tonnes of trash to its neighbor, according to state media KCNA, citing North Korea’s Vice Defense Minister Kim Kang Il.

Those balloons began landing in the South last week, temporarily disrupting flights and prompting authorities to warn residents to stay indoors. As of Monday, the South Korean military had found about 1,000 balloons.

South Korean activists say they will continue to send the balloons north – even though