N.Korea hints at retaliation after defectors in South sends balloons over border

A group of North Korean defectors in South Korea has sent 20 large balloons carrying leaflets and other items into North Korea. Pyongyang condemned the action and hinted it will hit back.

The balloons were sent on Thursday night from a place near the military demarcation line between the two Koreas. They were carrying 300,000 leaflets that read "the only home country, the Republic of Korea," 5,000 USBs with South Korean TV dramas on them, and 3,000 one-dollar US bills. It is the latest in a series of leaflet campaigns by the defectors.

Park Sang-hak, who leads the group, told reporters last week they will continue sending leaflets with love to let the people in North Korea know the real situation in their country.

Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, released a statement on Friday in which she reacted sharply to the leaflets and indicated the North may retaliate.

North Korea has flown numerous trash-carrying balloons to South Korea since May every time leaflets were sent from the South. This has put South Korea's military on heightened alert.

South Korea's military said on Friday that its troops fired warning shots after several soldiers from North Korea crossed the demarcation line between the two countries the previous day.

North Korean soldiers are conducting work such as burying landmines and reinforcing roads near the military demarcation line.

South Korea's military says it has seen an increase in cases in which North Korean soldiers engaging in the work accidentally crossed the demarcation line.