16.6 C
Tuesday, July 16, 2024

South Korea. Incheon airport paralyzed for three hours. The reason is North Korean balloons

Must read

- Advertisement -

North Korean garbage balloons disrupted traffic at Incheon Airport in South Korea on Wednesday, an airport spokesman said on Wednesday. One of the balloons landed on the airport tarmac. Three runways were temporarily closed following the incident.

North Korea again released about 350 balloons loaded with garbage over South Korea, the country's army announced on Tuesday. This time the balloons mainly contain waste paper.

The South Korean military said about 100 balloons landed between Tuesday and Wednesday, mostly in the capital Seoul and surrounding Gyeonggi province.

Traffic suspended at the airport

- Advertisement -

Due to North Korean balloons, traffic at Incheon Airport in South Korea was disrupted for about 3 hours, an airport spokesman said on Wednesday. He said that one of the balloons landed on the tarmac near passenger terminal number 2. He added that three runways were temporarily closed due to the incident.

The spokesman said several balloons were spotted in and around the airport. He noted that this is not the first time that the operations of the port, located about 40 km from the border with North Korea, have been disrupted by North Korean balloons.

Disruptions to domestic and international flights occurred between 1:46 p.m. and 4:44 p.m. local time. After a few hours, the runways reopened.

Reuters notes that flight traffic at this time of day is usually low. FlightRadar24 showed that during this time, eight incoming cargo and passenger flights were diverted to airports in Cheongju or Jeju in South Korea, and one China Cargo freighter from Shanghai was diverted to Yantai in China. Several subsequent landings were delayed and departures were pushed back by several hours.

Balloon with garbage from North Korea (archive photo)YONHAP/EPA/PAP

“A vile and irrational provocation”

South Korean President Jun Suk Jeol condemned the action as a “despicable and irrational provocation.” He also announced that the South Korean armed forces “will respond to any provocations from the North.”

The South Korean military warned on Tuesday that it may resume loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts at the border, something it has not done for the past few years.

“The army is ready to immediately start propaganda broadcasts against North Korea and will act flexibly depending on the strategic and operational situation,” the command said.

North Korean garbage balloons

Pyongyang has been launching balloons filled with garbage and feces for a month in retaliation for balloons released by activists in the South that contained propaganda materials, including leaflets and videos of BTS, the world's most popular K-pop band.

For years, North Korean defectors and South Korean activists have sent balloons to North Korea with leaflets critical of dictator Kim Jong Un.

Pyongyang has repeatedly called for an end to the leaflet campaign. The issue has long been a source of tension between the Korean states, which are still technically at war because the 1950-1953 war ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty.

Main photo source: YONHAP/EPA/PAP

Source link

More articles

- Advertisement -

Latest article