Balloon with time bomb crashes

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Balloon with time bomb crashes

A large balloon carrying 10,000 propaganda leaflets and a small time bomb was found on Friday in Goyang, Gyeonggi.

According to police, a Goyang resident reported to the police at 8:17 a.m. that he found a bundle of leaflets denouncing the governments of South Korea and United States on a road next to the Goyang Vehicle Inspection Station in Seongseok-dong, Ilsandong District, Goyang, Gyeonggi.

“A small time bomb was discovered inside the deflated balloon,” said a police officer who examined the scene. “The balloon appeared to hit a highway noise barrier and fell down on a road.”

Soldiers from a nearby military unit collected the balloon, the small time bomb and the leaflets.

The police speculate that North Korea intended the bomb in the balloon to explode over a metropolitan area in South Korea and scatter the leaflets.

The police have intelligence that North Korea dispatched about 10 balloons with propaganda leaflets toward Goyang from Thursday afternoon and are now trying to track down the other balloons and leaflets.

The leaflets denounced South Korean President Park Geun-hye and U.S. President Barack Obama and demanded propaganda broadcasts at the border be stopped. In the meantime, emails claiming to be from government agencies, such as the Blue House and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were sent out to many government officials after North Korea’s fourth nuclear test last week.

The emails had headers like “From the Foreign Affairs and Security Office of the Blue House” and “Share your opinion about North Korea’s fourth nuclear test” and were sent to government officials after Jan. 6, the day of the test. Police are trying to trace the sender of the email. It suspects North Korea.

BY JEON ICK-JIN, PARK MIN-JE [enational@joongang.co.kr]

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