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Large balloon for flying leaflets crashes into southern waters

All News 13:14 July 23, 2016

BUSAN, July 23 (Yonhap) -- A large balloon typically used to carry propaganda leaflets from either of the two Koreas crashed into South Korea's southern waters off Busan, the local firefighting authority said Saturday.

Attached at the bottom was a timer designed to cause the balloon to explode after a certain time elapses, but there were no leaflets inside the balloon.

The transparent balloon, 3-meters-long and 1-meter-wide, was first spotted by a rescue swimmer on duty at the Haeundae beach in Busan, at about 9:20 a.m., according to the Busan regional firefighting headquarters. It crashed into the sea about 25 minutes later before drifting rightward toward Dongbak Island. The timer has remained undetonated.

The Busan Coast Guard later dispatched a patrol boat to retrieve the balloon at the request of the firefighting authorities.

Police, the military and the National Intelligence Service, the state intelligence agency, were probing to determine whether the balloon has something to do with North Korea.

In May, a large balloon carrying materials suspected to be anti-Seoul propaganda leaflets from North Korea was found hanging across electrical wires near an elementary school in Eunpyeong district, northwestern Seoul.


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