'Gifts of sincerity': N. Korea sends balloons carrying excrement into S. Korea

North Korea sent hundreds of balloons carrying trash and excrement across the heavily fortified border to South Korea on Wednesday, calling them "gifts of sincerity", prompting an angry response from Seoul, which said the act was base and dangerous.

Photographs released by the South Korean military showed inflated balloons with plastic bags tied to them. Other images appeared to show trash strewn around collapsed balloons, with the word "excrement" written on a bag in one photograph.

By Wednesday afternoon, more than 260 balloons had been detected, and most of them have landed on the ground, carrying animal faeces and rubbish, the South Korean military said in a statement, calling the act "base and dangerous".

North Korea said the balloons were in retaliation for an ongoing propaganda campaign by North Korean defectors and activists in South Korea, who regularly send inflatables containing anti-Pyongyang leaflets, alongside food, medicine, money and USB sticks loaded with K-pop music videos and dramas across the border.

The North's balloons were "gifts of sincerity" for South Koreans who "cry for freedom of expression", she said, pledging to send dozens of times the number she said South Korea had sent into its territory.

Seoul's defence ministry said it had no immediate comment on the report.


Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
South Korea, China, Japan pledge to ramp up cooperation in rare summit
North Korea fires unidentified missile into sea in latest weapons launch, Seoul says
North Korea fires ballistic missile as top US diplomat visits Seoul