North Korea launches an annoying tactic over the border: trash and manure balloons

  • North Korea floated hundreds of balloons filled with garbage and feces across its southern border.

  • It had vowed retaliation after South Korean activists sent anti-Pyongyang leaflets over the border.

  • The North's balloons contained fertilizer, NBC reported, but not human excrement.

North Korea floated balloons carrying garbage and feces into South Korea last week, officials in Seoul said.

The obnoxious floating orbs were an apparent retaliation against South Korean activists who'd flown anti-Pyongyang leaflets and USB drives containing K-pop music over the border.

Days before the balloons landed in South Korea, a North Korean official vowed retaliation via "paper and filth," The Wall Street Journal reported.

South Korea's military discovered the balloons near the border Tuesday and told residents to stay inside, according to the Journal.

Roughly 260 balloons were ultimately found — the largest number ever sent, the Yonhap News Agency reported, citing South Korea's joint chiefs of staff. The countries have been feuding with messages sent back and forth via balloons for years.

North Korea's latest barrage of balloons contained plastic, batteries, parts of shoes, and manure, an official with the joint chiefs of staff said, according to Yonhap.

South Korea's defense ministry confirmed the presence of fertilizer to NBC, not human excrement — though the outlet said human feces were sent by North Korea in 2016.

The latest skirmish came after North Korea on Monday failed to launch a spy satellite, which exploded midair.

South Korean media reported Russia was helping with the effort, with a number of its technicians entering the country before the botched launch.

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